January 16, 2021

More than a million people with a university degree are at risk of poverty in Spain | Society

More than a million people with a university degree are at risk of poverty in Spain | Society

Not all the poor come from the most extreme environments of exclusion. Nor do they come from families without any recourse. Nor do they live on the street. In Spain, more than one million university graduates are at risk of poverty. They are 320,000 more than 10 years ago, according to the study that European Network for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion in the Spanish State (EAPN) has presented this Tuesday. The outcome of the crisis has redrawn the profile of the poor. The proportion of those who are in these circumstances, have more than 16 years and a medium or high level of education, has gone from 30% in 2008 to 35.8% in 2017. More than 2.7 million people go through this situation , in spite of having passed the baccalaureate or a professional formation or of having higher studies.

"I have spent many nights without sleep because of the anguish," says Rosa, a 52-year-old from Madrid who prefers not to give her real name. She is a computer systems engineer. He worked all his life in U.S, but in 2006, after the death of his father, he returned to Spain to be closer to his family. Here she was employed in a bank and in a multinational, until in 2016 she was fired. After, the abyss. "I wrote more than 500 résumés In these two years, I have been pulling unemployment and compensation money, but the savings are over, and in April I started charging 430 euros and I have a mortgage of 800," he continues. He enrolled in a job search assistance program for Action Against Hunger. Last month he found work. His conditions have improved, but he is still living to the limit. "I'm practically a mileurist," he says. "I'm in a trial period, who knows if I'll go back to work," he says. His anguish still does not stop.

26.6% of the population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2017, that is, 12.4 million people. While the figure improves 12.9 million last year, is still above the approximately 11 million people who were in this situation in 2008. The report analyzes data according to the AROPE indicator (At Risk of Poverty and Exclusion), based on three variables: the poverty risk rate (that economic benefits do not exceed 60% of the average national income), the low intensity of employment in households (that those over 18 in the family unit have not worked more than 20% of their possibilities in the last year) and severe material deprivation (having problems in at least four of nine indicators, some of which are being able to afford to keep the house at an adequate temperature or protein intake at least every two days).

The report breaks stereotypes and charts the profile of the poor in Spain. An important part of this population is constituted by Spanish people, adults, with work and with a medium or high level of education. "We believe that we have to go hungry to be poor, and this is not necessarily the case," explains Juan Carlos Llano, the sociologist who has prepared the study, the eighth presented by EAPN, a network that brings together NGOs and organizations that fight against poverty. , among which are, for example, Cáritas or Cruz Roja.

More than one million people with a university degree are at risk of poverty in Spain

"We were first educated in the belief that having a job was enough to avoid falling into poverty, we have seen that this is not the case, in fact more than 30% of the poor people have a job, and we thought that it was enough to go to university. to be able to have a decent life, and neither, "continues Llano. "Precariousness causes havoc, not only reaches less qualified jobs, it goes up the level and reaches groups that were believed free of this," he says.

According to the report, more than 10 million people were at risk of poverty last year in Spain, which is equivalent to 21.6% of the population. Although they are about 300,000 less than in 2016, the poverty rate is far from returning to pre-crisis records. Now there are some 900,000 more people at risk of poverty than in 2008.

More than one million people with a university degree are at risk of poverty in Spain

The document presented by EAPN, very extensive, addresses the situation from different points of view. It shows differences by territory (with Navarra with 13.5% of the population at risk of poverty or social exclusion compared to 44.3% in Extremadura), sex (6.4 million women at risk compared to 5.9 million of men), age (almost one in three under 16 years of age is at risk of poverty or exclusion) or composition of the household (almost half of the people living in single-parent households are at risk). The report concludes that GDP and poverty do not go hand in hand, since, despite the economic improvements, the figures of people in situation of vulnerability have not recovered compared to 2008. Inequalities have been deepened and the poor, even if they are less than in 2016, are poorer.


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