Since the Eighties, the definition of working poor it has been used to study, on the one hand, the population of low paid workers and, on the other hand, earners who receive a (relatively) good salary but live in poor households. However, few studies have been conducted on the intersection of the two competing definitions. The aim of the paper is twofold. In order to provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between the individual and the familiar levels, firstly we wonder if the different definitions identify distinct subpopulation of workers at risk of poverty. Then we consider weather and to what extent the role of individual and familiar variables determining the likelihood to be a working poor according to the diverging definitions has changed after the crisis of 2008. The analysis on Eu-Silc cross-sectional data (European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions, waves from 2005 to 2010) reveal that pointing out alternatively the individual level rather than the familiar one lead to distinguish heterogeneous subpopulations exposed to distinct risk of poverty. However, the phenomenon seems to have structural features that endure despite the crisis.
Keywords: Working poor, household poverty, low wage, labour market, crisis, Eu-Silc