Pandemic Pushes Millions Of Spaniards Into Extreme Poverty By Mark1199
The pandemic is pushing millions of Spaniards into extreme poverty by Mark1199. That the coronavirus pandemic had struck Spanish society mercilessly was a well-known fact. What we did not know is the scale it has reached, especially in 2020, the year of its global epidemic.
Insecurity, low wages, high housing prices… young people are the group most at risk of poverty in Spain
According to data from the Living Conditions Survey published this Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the COVID crisis has very negatively affected the main indicators that measure the well-being of households in our country: it has both favored the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, as well as those who suffer from severe material deprivation.
Thus, the percentage of the Spanish population at risk of poverty or social exclusion, measured with the AROPE rate, increased by 1.1 points in 2020 and stood at 26.4%, which means that 12.5 million Spaniards live in this situation.
This is the highest figure since 2017. That year the figure was 26.6%; in 2018, it fell to 26.1%; and in 2019 it was 25.3%.
The AROPE 2020 rate is constructed with three variables: population at risk of poverty -income-; employment intensity (both refer to 2019 earnings); and serious material shortages.
Detailing each of these indicators, the data shows that the population at risk of poverty increased from 20.7% in 2019 to 21% in 2020, and the population in severe material deprivation also increased, by 4.7% in 2019 to 7% in 2020 At the same time, the low employment intensity population increased from 10.8% in 2019 to 9.9% in 2020.
Graphic on the Spanish population at risk of poverty.Graph on the Spanish population at risk of poverty.Henar de Pedro
More than 3 million Spaniards suffer from severe material deprivation
Concerning the percentage of the population in a situation of severe material deprivation, it reached 7% in 2020, against 4.7% the previous year. In absolute numbers, we are talking about 3.3 million Spaniards. In general, 10% of the surveyed population declared reaching the end of the month with “great difficulty” in 2020, a percentage 2.2 points higher than that recorded the previous year.
A person is considered in a situation of severe material precariousness if he lives in a dwelling in which four of these aspects are absent: not being able to go on vacation at least one week per year; not being able to eat meat, chicken or fish at least three times a week; lack of income to keep the house at a suitable temperature not having the capacity to meet unforeseen expenses of at least 750 euros or having been late in paying household bills (rent or mortgage, electricity, water …). The other reasons are the inability to buy a car, cell phone, television or washing machine.
Thus, the main problems were related to delays in the payment of housing expenses (13.5% against 8.3% in 2019), difficulties in keeping the house at an adequate temperature (10.9% against 7.6% ) and not being able to afford a meal of meat, chicken or fish at least every two days (5.4% versus 3.8%). This last aspect affects more than 2.5 million Spaniards.
“These are the images of the hunger queues reflected in the data”
“These data confirm what we have observed: that the pandemic has attacked the weakest. Those who were poor no longer have to eat or pay for basic supplies. These are the images of the queues of hunger and poverty. energy poverty reflected in the data, ”explains Pedro Cabrera, professor of sociology and social work at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas. “And if you are also a foreigner or a mother with a child, I won’t even tell you, the effect on poverty is multiplier,” he adds.
This poverty expert assures us that these figures could have been attenuated if the “positive” ERTE system had been accompanied by other actions of the Government, such as an effective design and management of the Minimum Income prevent the risk of poverty and social exclusion.
“According to data from a report by the State Association of Directors and Managers of Social Services, as of March 2021, 75% of applications were rejected. This means that three out of four people have been rejected, ”regrets Cabrera. “This lack of agility and speed on the part of the administration is what leads people to surrender en masse to the immediate resource that allows them to eat or pay the electricity bill. We are talking about social entities like the Red Cross, Cáritas or the Food Bank, ”he concludes.
Regarding the risk of poverty or social exclusion AROPE rates by community, the highest were found in Extremadura (38.7%), the Canaries (36.3%) and Andalusia (35.1%) . In contrast, Navarre (12.0%) and the Basque Country (13.9%) had the lowest percentages.
The highest at-risk-of-poverty rates were found in Extremadura (31.4%), the Canaries (29.9%) and Andalusia (28.5%). Navarre (9.9%) and the Basque Country (10.0%) were the weakest. Pandemic Pushes Millions Of Spaniards Into Extreme Poverty By Mark1199
In contrast, the Canary Islands (15.6%), Andalusia (14.8%) and Extremadura (12.7%) were the regions with the highest percentages of people who reached the end of the month with “great difficulties” in 2020. Those with the lowest percentages were Aragon (5.5%), the Basque Country (5.6%) and Navarre (5.9%).