Slight drop in number of people at risk of poverty – NSO

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 June, 2023 at 12:10 pm by Andre Camilleri

The European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions shows that the number of persons living in households with a national equivalised income below the at-risk-of-poverty line (€10,893) was 85,797.

This translates into an at-risk-of-poverty (ARP) rate of 16.7 per cent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points when compared to the previous year, the NSO said Tuesday.

The EU-SILC survey is an annual enquiry conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) among persons residing in private households in Malta and Gozo. Income statistics refer to calendar year 2021, while non-income components (such as material deprivation) refer to 2022, which is the data collection year.

The average gross household income for 2021 as derived from EU-SILC 2022, was estimated at €43,186, while the average disposable household income was estimated at €34,814.

In 2022, the severe material and social deprivation rate (SMSD) among persons living in households was 4.9 per cent. This figure was 0.5 percentage points lower than that estimated by EU-SILC 2021. The most influential variables were: inability of the household to pay for one week’s annual holiday away from home (33.3 per cent), inability of the household to replace worn-out furniture, and inability of the household to face unexpected financial expenses (15.4 per cent).

At 20.1 per cent, the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate (AROPE) decreased by 0.2 percentage points when compared to that derived from EU-SILC 2021. The AROPE reveals the share of persons who are either at-risk-of-poverty, severe materially and socially deprived, or residing in a household with low work intensity (applicable only for persons aged 0-64) (Table 1).

At-Risk-of-Poverty or Social Exclusion indicator

The AROPE rate defines the proportion/number of people who are either at risk of poverty, or severely materially and socially deprived, or living in households with very low work intensity. In EU-SILC 2022, the AROPE rate was estimated at 20.1 per cent, registering a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from 2021. 

A decrease can be noted across the under 18 and 18-64 age groups, with the greatest decrease (1.5 percentage points) experienced among persons aged between 18 and 64 years. Thus, the AROPE rate for this cohort stands at 15.5 per cent. On the other hand, an increase can be noted among persons aged 65 and over, with 3.4 percentage points, thus reaching a rate of 33.3 per cent for this cohort.

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