The purpose of this article is to look for relationships between the concept of A. Sen’s capabilities, and data published by the statistical offi ces on the example of the European Union. In the fi rst part of the article views on the interpretation of the capabilities are presented. The second part is a review of the literature on the practical application of this concept in modeling. The third part of this study is the relationship between the percentage of people at risk of poverty and HDI index. The analysis shows that despite the high correlation between GDP and HDI, HDI presets additional data that refl ects capabilities in the sense of A. Sen.