For citizens living in many countries of the European Union, an annual one-week vacation is seen as a necessity, and these citizens go for holidays either in local establishments or even in other countries. However, in some countries in the EU, a large percentage of their citizens are not able to go for vacations primarily due to financial constraints. In countries such as Romania, Croatia, and Bulgaria, more than half of the citizens do not go for at least a one-week vacation per year.
1. Romania (66.6%)
Romania had the highest percentage (66.6%) of its population who could not afford a seven-day annual holiday. There are a few pointers which support these findings in Romania. One of the reasons behind the high percentage in Romania could be the poverty in the country as a vacation cannot be a priority to people living under the poverty line. Romania is among the poorest countries in the EU with the economy struggling after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc in the late 20th century. About 13.8% of Romanian citizens live in absolute poverty with the majority being the people living in the rural regions. The country was also identified in 2014 as having the highest relative poverty of any member country of the European Union. The employment rate in Romania could be another factor that could explain why its citizens find it difficult to go for an annual vacation. The unemployment rate in Romania is about 5.3%. Obviously, these unemployed citizens are not able to go for annual vacations.
2. Croatia (62.8%)
Croatia was second on the list with 62.8% of its citizens not being able to afford a one-week annual vacation. For one to know the reason behind this worrying statistic, one needs to have an in-depth analysis of the Croatian economy. The Croatian economy is heavily reliant on it service industry which accounts for 70% of its $58.330 billion GDP. The economy is just recovering from its worst period which began after the collapse of socialism and persisted during the Croatian War of Independence. About 19.4% of Croatia’s population lives below the poverty line which is an indication of the high level of poverty in the country. The unemployment rate in Croatia which is currently at 10.8% is another factor behind Croatia’s second position on the list.
3. Bulgaria (56.4%)
Over half of citizens of Bulgaria also do not see the necessity of having an annual one-week holiday with the data from the report putting the percentage at 56.4% of Bulgarian citizens. A quick check on the economic situation of Bulgaria can help in establishing the reason behind such high percentage. Bulgaria is classified as an upper-middle-income country with a GDP of over $143.1 billion. However, most of the Bulgarian citizens do not feel the impact of the economic growth as the country has 22% of its citizens living below the poverty line. Other reports put the percentage of citizens living in poverty at 35% of the population.
Factors Influencing The Ability To Spend On Vacations
Unemployment and high poverty levels are the main reasons why some European citizens do not go for annual one-week vacations as the poor and people with no jobs are not able to cater to the financial burden. However, there are other factors that can prevent people from going for vacations including the work ethic of citizens whereby people work for numerous shifts throughout the year, taking no vacations despite having the financial capacity to go for at least one in a year.