Increase in number of people with income below 'at risk of poverty' threshold

There was a 0.3% increasing in the number of people living at risk of poverty in 2017, while those living in conditions of severe material depravation fell by 1.1%

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

The number of people living at risk of poverty increase by 0.3% between 2016 and 2017, data issued by the National Statistics Office shows.

According to the NSO the results of the ‘European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)’ survey, which is held annually, the number of people with a national equivalised income, below €8,698 - the at-risk-of-poverty line – stood at 72,142 in 2017, amounting to 16.8% of the population.

On the other hand, the survey found that the number of people living in conditions of severe material depravation fell by 1.1%, to 3.3% of the population.

The NSO said that the three most influential variables contributing to the decrease were: the ability of households to face unexpected financial expenses; ability of households to avoid being in arrears on mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, hire purchase instalments, or other loan payments; ability of households to spend one week’s annual holiday away from home.

Moreover, the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate (AROPE) decreased by 0.9% when compared to EU-SILC 2016.

AROPE provides the share of persons who are either at-risk-of-poverty, or severely materially deprived, or residing in a household with low work intensity.

Finally, survey found the average gross household income for 2016to be roughly €33,202, while the average disposable household income was €27,722.

AROPE reaches all time low

Addressing a press conference on the survey’s findings Social Solidarity minister Michael Falzon, said that the number of at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate (AROPE) was the lowest it had ever been since statistics started being collected.

Falzon said that the survey showed that 3,000 people had risen out of the risk of poverty or social exclusion during 2017, with over 16,000 having risen out of the bracket since 2013.

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