Cyprus Mail

Sharp increase in those at risk of poverty

An inability to keep your home adequately warm is one indicator of being at risk of poverty

In 2016, 230,000 individuals, or 27.7 per cent, were at risk of poverty in Cyprus, up from 180,000, or 23.3, per cent in 2008, the European statistical service Eurostat said on Monday.

It followed the drop of annual national median equivalised disposable income, after social transfers, to €14,020 from €16,024 in 2008, the service said.

The at-risk-of-poverty threshold thus moved from €9,614 for single adult families in 2008, to €8,412 in 2016, and from €20,190 in 2008 for families with two adults and two children younger than 14, to €17,665 euro in 2016.

Eurostat says people at-risk-of-poverty after social transfers increased to 16.1 per cent in 2016 –from 15.9 per cent in 2008 — and persons severely materially deprived rose to 13.6 per cent — from 9.1 per cent in 2008. Individuals aged 0-59 living in households with very low work intensity also increased to 10.6 per cent last year from 4.5 per cent in 2008.

Persons at-risk-of-poverty are those living in a household with an equivalised disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 per cent of the national median equivalised disposable income.

The equivalised disposable income is the total income of a household, after tax and other deductions, that is available for spending or saving, divided by the number of household members converted into equalised adults. Household members are equalised or made equivalent by weighting each according to their age, using the so-called modified Oecd equivalence scale — one to the first adult, 0.5 to each other household members aged 14 or over, and 0.3 to each household member aged less than 14 years old.

Severely materially deprived persons have living conditions constrained by a lack of resources and experience at least four out of nine deprivation items. The cannot afford: to pay rent/mortgage or utility bills on time, to keep home adequately warm, to face unexpected expenses, to eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day, a one-week holiday away from home, a car, a washing machine, a colour TV, or a telephone, including mobile phone.

People living in households with very low work intensity are those aged 0-59 who live in households where on average the adults worked less than 20 per cent of their total work potential during the past year.

Students are excluded.

The total number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion is lower than the sum of the numbers of people in each of the three forms of poverty or social exclusion as some persons are affected simultaneously by more than one of these situations.


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