The pandemic has increased the intensity of poverty in Spain and in just one year, 15 autonomous communities have seen the number of households with Difficulty facing payments related to housing, assuming unforeseen expenses or making ends meet.
It is one of the main conclusions of the report ‘The State of Poverty. Monitoring of the poverty and social exclusion indicator in Spain 2008–2020 ‘, prepared by the European Network to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion in the Spanish State (EAPN-ES) which was presented this Thursday.
This study allows to analyzer the impact that the pandemic has had on one of the indicators that measures the serious vulnerability of families, such as severe material deprivation. At the end of 2020, some 3.3 million people (7% of the population) were in this situation of deprivation, compared to 4.7% the previous year.
The president of EAPN Spain, Carlos Susías, highlighted that it is about a million more people who “suddenly” have started to experience problems such as late payments on housing (affecting 13.5% of the population compared to 8.3% in 2019), who cannot afford a meal of meat, chicken or fish every other day (5.4%) or who cannot maintain their home with a suitable temperature (10.9%).
Figures that have doubled in 15 of the 17 autonomous communities (all except Castilla La Mancha and Aragon) and which reflect “the harshness, brutality and intensity” of the pandemic, which has caused in one year what the 2008 crisis took six years to achieve.
One in 10 children suffers from material deprivation
Currently, almost one in ten children and adolescents suffer severe material deprivation; one in seven people living in single-parent families; one in four foreigners from countries outside the EU and one in 20 Spaniards.
Furthermore, the report highlights that 45.2% of the Spanish population has some kind of difficulty making ends meet. And, although the figure has dropped 4.1 percentage points compared to the previous year and is the lowest of the entire period, the project coordinator, Juan Carlos Llano, has warned that the reduction is due to the improvement in the percentage of people who show low and intermediate degrees of difficulty.
On the contrary, people who make ends meet “with great difficulty” they have increased from 7.8% to 10%, which represents an intense increase of 28.1%, andThe highest year-on-year growth in the entire period studied, which shows the effect of the pandemic among the most vulnerable groups.
Llano, explained that the data referring to the rate of risk of poverty and social exclusion included in this report are prior to the coronavirus crisis, so that today it is impossible to know the poverty rate produced by the covid.
In the year 2020, a total of 12.5 million people, that is, 26.4% of the population, were at risk of poverty and / or social exclusion. This represents an increase of more than one percentage point over the previous year and ends the downward trend of the last five years.
Regarding the severe poverty data, in 2020 9.5% of the Spanish population, about 4.5 million people, They lived in this situation, which is three tenths more than in 2019.
Llano explained that these data show an evident division of Spain into two halves: the communities that are located in the north of Madrid maintain low rates of poverty or social exclusion, compatible with those of the most advanced European countries, while those located in the south register “extraordinarily high” rates and well above the national average.
Thus, if the AROPE indicator is compared, the lowest rates are in Navarra and the Basque Country, with 12% and 13.9% respectively, while the highest rates are registered in the Canary Islands and Extremadura, with 36.3% and 38.7%, respectively. In the European comparison, the report regrets that in practically all the variables of poverty, exclusion and inequality, Spanish data are above the average value corresponding to the whole of the European Union.