According to information from the report Portugal, Balanço Social 2021 — A portrait of the country after a year of pandemic”, presented publicly today, and based on preliminary data from the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (ICOR) that the National Institute of Statistics (INE) released in December 2021, the at-risk-of-poverty rate increased by two percentage points (pp) between 2019 and 2020.
The data from the professional database at ICOR have the financial situation of families in 2020, thanks to which “it is possible to briefly describe the impact of the pandemic on the living conditions of families”, once the risk rate after social poverty has passed. from 16.2% in 2019 to 18.4% in 2020.
“The number of people at risk of poverty increased from 1.7 million in 2019 to 1.9 million in 2020”, says the report by Nova School of Business & Economics, one of the five faculties of Universidade Nova de Lisboa.
This at-risk-of-poverty rate increased more among women (2.5 pp) and among people over 65 (2.6 pp), having also increased among all types of families, “especially in families with children” (2.7 pp).
Within families, the highest growth was registered in single-parent families, which saw a growth of 4.7 pp from poverty to 30.2% during the year 2020.
Among unemployed people, the at-risk-of-poverty rate reached 46.5%, which represents 5.8 percentage points more than in 2019.
Preliminary data for 2020, Social Balance reflects the social status of the country in 2019, the year in which the at-risk-of-poverty rate Poverty Beyond 1 pp, to 16.2%, compared to 2018, being the 5th consecutive year in which this indicator decreases.
“The at-risk-poverty rate of social downloads in 2018 also faced before, reaching 42.4% if not reported.
The analysis found that in that year poverty was more prevalent among unemployed people (33.3%), single-parent families (25.5%) and people with lower levels of education (21.9%), being that women also have a higher risk of poverty rate than men (16.7% against 15.6%).
“Children (0 to 17 years old) and older people (over 65 years old) have a higher risk-of-poverty rate than the national average”, with 19.1% and 17.5%, respectively, in 2019.
With regard to the elderly, the report “Portugal, Balanço Social” points out that the at-risk-of-poverty rate of 17.5% is 2.3 percentage points above the national average and that the figure for children is higher than in 2018, when the poverty rate stood at 17.3%. This means that in 2019, 381,000 elderly people were poor.
“As it is possible, the payment of predictable pensions raised the risk-of-poverty rate of this segment of the population significantly: to 20% in 2019. The effect of the remaining transfers is smaller, but just as relevant: between 2017 and 2019, the risk-of-poverty rate of poverty would be about 1.15 times higher than in the absence of these transfers.
On the other hand, and regarding the percentage of people who are persistently at risk of poverty, that is, not under analysis and in most of the previous three years, the rate is 9.8%, which means, according to the researchers, that “60% of poor people in 2020 were in a situation of persistent poverty”, and these, “6% never got out of poverty in the four-year period between 2016 and 2019”.
The report also points out that one of the determinants of poverty is the relationship with the labor market, noting that once in three unemployed people are poor, but also that, in some, it is not enough to work to escape poverty, since a time in 10 employed people are poor.
Effectively, 40.6% of “useful time available in aggregates where we work together”.
According to the Social Balance, and despite being verified as better conditions, housing families are better, have a self-assessment and have more difficulty in accessing health care.
With regard to inequality in income distribution, it is known that in 2018, the richest 25% held 42% of the country’s income, a figure that in 2019 rises to almost 46%.
The social portrait also shows an unequal country, with the Autonomous Region of the Azores remaining as where there is the highest rate of risk of poverty (28.5%), the Algarve and the North where there is the highest rate of material deprivation several ( 6.7%) and the most concentrated coastline in the region, especially in the metropolitan area of Lisbon, Center and North.