The figures, which date from 2014, were released today by Eurostat, the official statistics office for the European Union.
They show a marked different across the bloc with Eastern European and Southern Mediterranean countries in the top five.
Around 36% of Hungarians, 35% of Romanians and 30% of Bulgarians said they could not afford to eat or drink out with friends or family, followed by 20% of Greeks and 19% of Maltese citizens.
Meanwhile Nordic countries were most likely to be able to afford to share food or a drink with loved ones.
The survey on material deprivation across the EU found that less than 1% of Swedish respondents across all age groups felt unable to get together for a social occasion around food followed by just 1.5% of Finnish respondents and 3.2% of Danes.