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One in three Spanish families still cannot afford a vacation or an unforeseen expense

With recovery, the poverty risk rate drops to 21.6% but remains high and increases among retirees

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One in three Spanish families still cannot afford a vacation or an unforeseen expense
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Five years after leaving behind Great Recession situation of many Spanish households remains delicate. One in three families (34.4%) still could not afford to leave on vacation away from home at least one week a year for 2017. A similar percentage, slightly less than four out of ten households (37.3%), did not have capacity to face unforeseen expenses, according to INE's living conditions survey published on Thursday.

Although indicators record some improvement over previous years, y also reveal, despite economic recovery, difficulties that many Spanish families are experiencing. Almost one in 10 households recognizes that it has "a lot of difficulty" to make ends meet. They are almost six points less than previous year, but still 9.3% of households. And that families have noticed some relief from last year's sharp rise in employment, when 611,000 new jobs were created.

The survey draws a profile on economic situation of Spanish households. And that profile shows that 7.4% of families had delays in payments when paying expenses related to main house (mortgage or rent, gas receipts, electricity, community...) in 12 months preceding interview. 8.3% suffer from energy poverty (it cannot keep house at a suitable temperature). And 3.8% ensures that you cannot afford to eat meat or fish at least once every two days.

Population falls below poverty line

The Spanish economy has been chaining growths close to 3% for four years and labour market is recovering precrisis level. But scars, in form of inequality, are still palpable.

The percentage of population below poverty risk threshold ( so-called poverty risk rate) stood at 2017 (this indicator always uses previous year's income, i.e., in this case, that of 2016) in 21.6% of population resident in Spain , compared to 22.3% of previous year. This is lowest level since 2013, but still in very high numbers and above pre-crisis levels (in 2008 was 19.8%). By age group, poverty risk rate decreased 1.4 points in adult population (between 16 and 64 years) and dropped 0.8 points for children under 16 years. But children are still particularly hard: 28.1% of those under 16 are at risk of poverty. The only group growing between 2016 and 2017 is that of retirees: it increased 1.8 points for those over 65 years, up to a rate of 14.8%.

The population at risk of poverty is a relative indicator that measures inequality. It does not measure absolute poverty, but how many people have low incomes relative to whole population.

Considering in calculation of rate of risk of poverty value of house in which home resides, when this one is of ir property or has it freely ceded, makes that rate decreases. Thus, if value of imputed rent is considered, risk of poverty rate stood at 19.7% in 2017. The population over age of 65 years, which in greater proportion owns ir home, presented lowest risk-of-poverty rate (8.9%) precisely because many are homeowners. On or hand, highest rate was among those under 16 years (28.3%).

The poverty risk limit is at 8,522 euros

The statistic reveals that in 2017, poverty-risk threshold for a person's homes stood at 8,522 euros, 3.8% more than that estimated in previous year. In households composed of two adults and two under 14 years, this threshold was 17,896 euros. It should be remembered that poverty risk threshold is set at 60% of median income per unit of consumption of people. Therefore, it increases or decreases to extent that median income does. Growing income per person also increases risk-of-poverty threshold.

The average annual net income per household was 27,558 euros in 2016, with an increase of 3.1% compared to previous year. For its part, average income per person reached 11,074 euros, a 3.4% higher than that recorded preceding year.

2.3 million of Spaniards in severe poverty

Severe poverty affected 2,372,977 million people in 2016, which is equivalent to 5.1% of population, according to survey on living conditions published on Thursday by National Institute of Statistics (INE). Although data is bleak, re is a slight improvement over previous years, conditioned by aftermath of long financial crisis.

The situation of severe poverty is calculated with AROPE indicator. It is understood that it is in this situation when material deprivation of up to four needs of a list of nine is produced: y do not have capacity to face unforeseen expenses; Have suffered delays in payment of expenses for main house or in instalment purchases; They cannot afford to go on vacation one week a year; They cannot keep house at a suitable temperature; They cannot afford a meal of meat, chicken or fish every two days and y cannot have a car, a telephone, a TV or a washing machine.

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