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30 May, 2024
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One in six faces poverty or social exclusion

Survey reveals persistent challenges despite marginal improvement

Newsroom / CNA

One in six individuals, equivalent to 150,000 people, faced the risk of poverty or social exclusion in Cyprus during 2022, as revealed by the findings of the 2022 Survey on Income and Living Conditions. The survey, which references income data from the year 2021, was released by the Statistical Service on Thursday.

Specifically, according to the AROPE indicator, the primary gauge for monitoring the EU's 2030 goal on poverty and social exclusion, 16.7% of the population encountered the threat of poverty or social exclusion. This encompasses individuals residing in households with disposable incomes below the poverty threshold, facing severe material or social deprivation, or dwelling in households characterized by minimal work engagement.

The Statistical Service noted a slight improvement in this indicator compared to the previous year (17.3%), reflecting a continued downward trajectory in recent times. This progress was observed across both genders; however, women have consistently maintained a disadvantaged position in relation to men.

This enhancement in the indicator is attributed to the decline in the percentage of the population residing in households with very low work engagement (decreasing from 5.8% in 2021 to 4.1% in 2022). This pertains to individuals aged 0-64 living in households where adults aged 18-64 worked less than 20% of their potential during the past year. The category of adults excludes students aged 18-24, individuals retired according to their self-defined economic status, or pension recipients (excluding survivor's pensions).

Furthermore, during 2022, 13.9% or 125,000 persons were at risk of poverty, indicating disposable incomes below the poverty threshold, a figure relatively consistent with 2021 (13.8%).

The at-risk-of-poverty threshold, set at 60% of the median total equivalized disposable household income, was calculated as €10,713 for single-person households and €22,498 for households with two adults and two dependent children in 2022. In comparison, the thresholds for 2021 stood at €10,011 and €21,024 respectively. The median equivalized disposable income for 2022 was €17,855, in contrast to €16,825 in 2021.

Notably, the percentage of the population at risk of poverty—before incorporating social benefits and pensions into household disposable income—was estimated at 33.3%. When only pensions were integrated into disposable income, this figure diminished to 20.1%. With the further inclusion of social benefits, the percentage dropped to 13.9%.

The Statistical Service affirmed the vital role of social transfers in mitigating the percentage of people at risk of poverty. It emphasized that all social transfers in 2022 collectively reduced the indicator by 19.4 percentage points, with pensions accounting for 13.2% of the reduction and social benefits contributing 6.2%.

Cyprus  |  economy  |  inflation  |  poverty

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