Roma data

Roma in the region are excluded from economic, social and political life. Compared to non Roma citizens, Roma are more likely to live in poverty, have a higher risk of unemployment, stay in school for fewer years, live without access to drinking water, sanitation and electricity, and live in substandard, overcrowded homes. Roma are more likely to suffer from chronic illness and have less access to health services. 

Roma are more likely to live in poverty than non-Roma who live in the same area:

  • About 90 percent of Roma surveyed live in households below national poverty lines. (2011)
  • Around 40 percent of Roma live in households where somebody went to bed hungry at least once in the last month because they could not afford to buy food.

Roma are at a higher risk of being unemployed or employed in the informal sector:

  • Less than one third of Roma have paid employment. (2011)
  • One third of Roma respondents said that they are unemployed. (2011)
  • Almost 67 percent of Roma are employed in unskilled or semi-skilled jobs, compared to just 16 percent of majority respondents. (2004)
  • Roma involvement in the informal sector is on average four or more times more common than for non Roma. (2004)

Roma communities are falling behind in education:

  • On average, only one out of two Roma children surveyed attend pre-school or kindergarten. (2011)
  • Only 15 percent of young Roma adults surveyed complete upper-secondary general or vocational education. (2011)
  • Roma enrolment in primary education is rarely above 50 percent (2004)

Roma communities often live in substandard housing:

  • About 45 percent of Roma live in households that lack at least one of the following basic housing amenities: indoor kitchen, indoor toilet, indoor shower or bath and electricity. (2011)
  • On average, in the Roma households surveyed more than two persons live in one room. (2011)

Many Roma are not able to access health care:

  • One third of Roma respondents aged 35 to 54 reported health problems limiting their daily activities. (2011)
  • About 20 percent of Roma respondents were not covered by medical insurance or did not know if they were covered. (2011)
  • 66 percent of Roma said they could not afford prescription drugs compared to 29 percent of the majority population. (2004)
  • 15 percent of Roma children under the age of 14 are not vaccinated compared to four percent of children from non Roma households. (2004)

Roma communities are subject to discrimination in education, healthcare, housing and employment:

  • About half of the Roma surveyed said that they experienced discrimination in the past year because they are Roma. (2011)
  • Around 40 percent of Roma surveyed were not aware of any laws forbidding discrimination against ethnic minority people when applying for a job.
  • 30 percent of Roma with a university education are unemployed, compared to 14 percent for the rest of the university educated population. (2004)
  • Eight percent of Roma said they were denied medical services because of a lack of proper documents, compared to three percent for the majority of the population. (2004)
  • 20 percent of Roma enrolled in school attend classes with other Roma children, while 86 percent of the majority of the population have classes with children of the same ethnicity. (2004)

Estimates indicate that between 6.8 and 8.7 million Roma live in Europe.

Explore the data

Data on vulnerability of Roma
  • A survey carried out by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and UNDP (2011) interviewed in total 22,203 Roma and non-Roma providing information on 84,287 household members in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. Interviews were carried out face-to-face in Roma and non-Roma respondents’ homes, living within close proximity of eachother. (data coming soon)
  • A survey carried out by UNDP, the World Bank, and the European Commission (2011) interviewed 750 Roma and 350 non-Roma households living in or close to Roma communities in 12 countries of Central and Southeastern Europe. The survey collected basic socio-economic data on household as well as individual household members and perception data of selected adult members from each household. The UNDP/WB/EC regional Roma survey 2011 data (see SPSS file and questionnaires (zip)) were used to calculate basic statistical profiles for the participating countries:   


Albania (excel)

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Bosnia and Herzegovina (excel)

Bulgarian flag

Bulgaria (excel)

Croatian flag

Croatia (excel)

Czech flag

Czech Republic (excel)

Hungarian flag

Hungary (excel)

Moldovan flag

Moldova (excel)

Montenegrin flag

Montenegro (excel)

Romanian flag

Romania (excel)

Serbian flag

Serbia (excel)

Slovak flag

Slovakia (excel)

Flag of fYR Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (excel)


See: The situation of Roma in 11 EU Member States (2012) for survey results at a glance

See: Development and transition: Opportunities for Roma inclusion


Data on social exclusion
  • A UNDP/United Nations Children’s Fund survey (2010) of 2,700 people per country (Kazakhstan, Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan, the fYR Macedonia, and Ukraine), which covered employment, access to assets, housing, standard of living and income sources, opportunities, health, education and social services, social capital and relations, and participation in cultural and political life. The survey included disaggregated data on Roma in Serbia. (data coming soon)

See: the Regional human development report on social inclusion: Beyond transition: towards inclusive societies (2011) for in depth analysis of the 2010 survey data. 

Data on vulnerability of Roma
  • From a UNDP survey (2004) of 3,534 Roma households in Southeastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia, the fYR Macedonia), which collected quantitative data enabling the rough calculation of poverty lines, the depth of poverty, employment and unemployment rates, education levels, and housing conditions.

See: Full dataset (SPSS), Full dataset (Stata), & survey output tables

See: At Risk: Roma and the Displaced in Southeast Europe (2006) for in depth analysis of the 2004 survey data.

See: Faces of poverty, faces of hope (2005)

Data on vulnerability of Roma
  • From a UNDP/International Labour Organization survey (2002) of more than 5,000 people from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovak Republic, which covered life expectancy, education and per-capita income of Roma and displaced persons. (data coming soon)

See: Avoiding the Dependency Trap: The Roma in Central and Eastern Europe (2002) for in depth analysis of the 2002 survey data. 

>> See more Roma publications


* All references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of the Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).

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