Therisk of poverty and social exclusionhas fallen for the third consecutive year in Spain until the26.6%, 1.3 percentage points compared to 2016, although it continues to affect in absolute terms12,338,187 people, according to the '8th Follow-up Report of the Poverty and Social Exclusion Risk Indicator in Spain 2008-2017'.
The document, presented on Tuesday by the European Network for the Fight against Poverty and Social Exclusion in the Spanish State (EAPN-ES) in the Senate, on the occasion of the celebration this Wednesday, October 17, of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, is based on theAROPE rate, which is the European indicator that measures the risk of poverty.
Although a total of651,218 people have stopped swelling this list in 2017, Spain is stillfar from the rate of 23.8%, which is what was in 2008, when the risk of exclusion affected 11 million people.
"To return to the values prior to the crisis, it is necessary to remove 1.4 million people from poverty", warn those responsible for this report, who recall that the Spanish Government assumed the Europe 2020 Strategy, launched in 2009, to reduce between 1.4 and 1.5 million the number of people at risk of poverty before the end of 2019.
The authors point out that despitethe "obvious improvement" of the AROPE rate, which has been reduced by 2.6 percentage points in the last three years, "still missing" another 1.9 percentage points to reach the starting point.
The report points out that the "proclaimed" macroeconomic recovery in recent years is, also,"very far from actually reaching people"and notes that the reduction of the AROPE rate is due to the decrease in the employment intensity indicator, which has been reduced by 4.3 percentage points since 2014.
Refering tosevere poverty, the document reveals that it is6.9% of the population,a figure higher than that registered in 2014 and the second highest since the indicator was measured. If the average income of the population in 2017 is 14,203 euros, then they are in severe poverty – with a threshold of 30% of the average – all those people who live in households whose total income is less than 4,261 euros per year (355 euros per month).
He also argues that the existence of children in the home "clearly" determines the probability of falling into situations of vulnerability. Thus, the AROPE rate is 29.8% (6.5 percentage points more than households without minors); the risk of poverty is 9.5 points more; severe material deprivation is 1.3 points more; and severe poverty is just twice (4.5 points more than households composed only of adults).
Poverty again affects women
In 2017, the AROPE rate was reduced for all age groups,except for the population over 65 years of age, which has gone from 14.4% in 2016 to 16.4%in 2017. The report warns of the "enormous" difference with which the risk of poverty and / or exclusion affects people according to age, with distances in some cases exceeding 18 percentage points.
The gender gap in AROPE also exists among the elderly population and this last year grew significantly due, according to the authors, to the difference in the amount of pensions received by men and women.
In 2017, the female AROPE rate is 27.1%and, for the first time since 2011, it once again exceeds that of men, which in the latter case has been reduced by two percentage points, almost three times the decrease in the number of women. In total, there are 6.4 million women at risk of poverty compared to 5.9 million men.
In young people between 16 and 29 years, the risk of poverty and social exclusion is reduced in the last year, up to 34.8%, but it continues 12 percentage points above the data prior to the crisis (22.8% in 2008 ).
"The situation has not improved for young people"
The risk continues to be "extraordinarily high" among those under 16and it reaches 31%. In 2014 it reached its maximum (35.4%) and has been reduced in the last three years by 4.3 percentage points. "In any case, the intensity of the annual reduction has been less and less", warn from EAPN-ES, who maintain that "10 years have passed and the situation has not improved for minors".
On the other hand,people with disabilities bear a much higher risk of poverty and / or exclusionthan those without disabilities, something that is fulfilled every year. For example, in 2017, 31.5%, that is, practically one in three people with disabilities, is at risk of poverty and / or exclusion, a figure that is seven percentage points higher than that of people without disabilities .
Poor with a higher education degree
The report reveals that13.8% of the poor population (1.7 million) have higher education, which adds more than a third of the poor population over 15 years old with a medium or high level of education. This group increases again in size to the detriment of the population with low studies, which is reduced.
"The way out of the crisis is raising the educational profile of poor people and this issue is reflected very clearly when comparing studies of the poor population in 2008 and 2017," the authors note.
The group of people with medium or high educational level went from being 30% of the poor population over 15 years to 35.8%, while the sum of the two low educational levels was reduced from 70% to 64.2%.