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STATISTICS

EU-SILC 2019: MATERIAL DEPRIVATION AND MONETARY POVERTY

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Statistiche-NSO-2-4According to EU-SILC, which produces statistics on Income and Living Conditions, in 2019 the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate was estimated at 20.1 per cent of the population living in private households in Malta.

Persons are considered to be at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion if they are in at least one of the following states: at-risk-of-poverty, severely materially deprived, or living in households with very low work intensity. These were estimated at 97,183, corresponding to 20.1 per cent of the population living in private households.

At-risk-of-poverty The at-risk-of-poverty threshold is set at 60 per cent of the national equivalised income which proportion, in 2019, was calculated at €9,212. In this year, 17.1 per cent of the population living in private households were estimated to be at-risk-of poverty, equivalent to around 82,758 persons. The largest share was registered among the elderly persons aged 65 and over – nearly 28 per cent of this age cohort (Table 5).

The relative median at-risk-of-poverty gap is an indicator which measures the extent to which the income of those persons who are at-risk-of-poverty falls below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. In 2019, this was estimated at 17.1 per cent over 17.0 per cent a year earlier (Table 7).

Deprivation indicators Severely materially deprived persons are considered as such if their household cannot afford four or more items listed in methodological note 5 of this release. These are known as deprivation items and range from a household’s ability to have a meal with protein (meat, chicken or fish) or vegetarian equivalent every alternate day, to affording a week’s annual holiday away from home. In 2019, 17,506 persons, equivalent to 3.6 per cent of the population living in private households, were estimated to fall in this category. Materially deprived persons are observed as those who cannot afford at least three deprivation items. These were estimated at 8.4 per cent of the population. Across the two categories, the most prevalent deprivation item was inability to pay for a week’s annual holiday away from home, accounting for 30.8 per cent of the population in private households (Table 8).

Another indicator within the EU-SILC data collection is the one which attempts to gauge material and social deprivation. This indicator aims to capture the social dimension of poverty and therefore its coverage goes beyond the material dimension. Apart from items such as the ability to replace wornout furniture and worn-out clothes, this statistic measures social pursuits, such as leisure activities undertaken regularly and meeting with family and friends. A person is considered to be materially and socially deprived if his/her cannot afford at least five of the thirteen items listed in methodological note 6. In 2019, 9.9 per cent of the private-household population were considered to be materially and socially deprived, an increase of 0.6 percentage points from 2018 (Table 9).

Low-work-intensity households The third aspect of the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion indicator concerns very low-work-intensity households, defined as those in which the adults (aged 18 to 59) worked under one-fifth of their work potential in the year preceding the survey. In 2019, the very low-work-intensity rate was calculated at 3.7 per cent of the private-household population (Chart 6)

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