PEOPLE living in Cornwall are now poorer than those in Poland, Lithuania and Hungary, official EU statistics have revealed.
Cornwall ranks as the second poorest region in the UK, with only the Welsh valleys poorer, with people earning less than £14,300 per year on average.
They are among the 50 poorest regions in Europe – and ten most deprived areas of Western Europe – when it comes to purchasing power.
The figures are from Eurostat, the Brussels-based organisation which compiles economic data from across the European Union.
Britain's high cost of living leaves the average Cornish family worse off than many across Eastern Europe, according to the EU study.
In areas of the UK incomes are well below the EU average, some by as much as a third. Falling living standards have meant people in Cornwall are on average 36 per cent less well-off than the EU norm.
Families in Slovenia are 16 per cent poorer, and in Portugal 23 per cent.
The Cornish wage is more than £2,000 per year less than people earn in Lincolnshire and Durham, the next two poorest UK areas.
Britain's average earnings are £23,300, against the EU average of £20,750.
Although London is the EU's richest city, most of the country is poorer than the rest of Europe.
Eurostat uses a measure known as "purchasing power standards".
It measures GDP per person but also considers national price levels, to give a more realistic idea of how much earnings are worth.