Almost 30% of Catalans are at risk of social exclusion
29.5% of Catalans are at risk of social exclusion. This is the conclusion of the 2011 survey of living conditions and habits of the population of Catalonia. This percentage is related to the AROPE rate used in the European Union which not only analyses the income poverty level but also looks at severe material deprivation and households with very low work intensity. The results of the survey highlight that Catalonia was in a worse situation in 2011 than Spain (with 26.7% of people at risk of social exclusion) or the European Union (21.6%). Furthermore, 21.9% of Catalans live on an income below the poverty threshold.
Barcelona (ACN).- The economic crisis has hit Catalan society, which by the end of 2011 had 29.5% of the population at risk of social exclusion. The latest results of the 2011 survey of living conditions and habits of Catalonia\u2019s population have shown that three out of ten Catalans are at risk of social exclusion, according to the AROPE rate. It analyses not only economic poverty levels, but it also takes into account other aspects, such as severe material deprivation and households with very low work intensity. The shocking results of this survey show that Catalonia is in a worse situation than Spain (with 26.7% of people at risk of social exclusion) and the European Union (21.6%). Within Catalonia, the population living in the Ebro Delta area is facing the worst situation (36.8%), while those living in Central Catalonia are less affected by this problem (21.5%).
Barcelona\u2019s Provincial Council, in collaboration with Catalonia\u2019s Statistical Institute (Idescat), Barcelona\u2019s Institute of Regional and Metropolitan Studies (IERMB), and the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB), have elaborated the 2011 survey of living conditions and habits of the population of Catalonia, taken every five years.
The main conclusion is that three out of ten Catalans (29.5%) are at risk of social exclusion. In 2006, the AROPE rate was not used in the calculation, and therefore it cannot be compared with the previous study. The AROPE formula is the one used throughout the European Union and therefore is the one chosen for the 2011 report. However, the survey indicates that compared to 5 years ago, the number of dependent people receiving help from someone else has increased.
21.9% of Catalans live on an income below the poverty threshold
The survey analyses different parameters such as poverty risk and annual income levels. Regarding the income poverty, the 2011 report shows that 21.9% of the Catalan population is living with an income below the poverty threshold, which is \u20AC8,560 per year. Regarding age, the most affected are children under 16 years old: 28% of them are living below the poverty line. People over 65 years old have a better rate: 19.3%.
Sebastià Sarasa, who participated in the report\u2019s drafting and has a PhD in Economics, said that in 2006 between 18% and 19% of the Catalan population was living on an income below the poverty threshold. Until 2008 this index was decreasing but since then it has increased because of the economic crisis.
The Ebro Delta, the most affected by poverty
Within Catalonia, the worst area is Terres de l\u2019Ebre (the Ebro Delta region), in the southern part of the country. There, 34.8% have an income below the poverty threshold. The Ebro Delta is followed by the area of Tarragona (28.1%) in the South (excluding the Ebro), the Girona Province (25.6%) in the North East, and Western Catalonia and the Pyrenees (22%). The metropolitan area of Barcelona (18.6%) and the Central counties of Catalonia (16.9%) have the best situation.
Sarasa detailed that in the areas with better rates, there is a \u201Cpolarization\u201D. People without economic difficulties coexist with others with a lot of them. However, he indicated that in Barcelona and its metropolitan area the situation is more homogeneous.
The average household annual income is \u20AC27,226
The average household annual income in Catalonia is \u20AC27,226. Per person, the average income is \u20AC10,340. Within Catalonia, the highest annual income average is located in Barcelona and its metropolitan area, the Central Counties and the area of Tarragona. The lowest are in the Ebre Delto with an annual income average of \u20AC21,789.
These annual income figures highlight that 28.8% of Catalans live in homes that admit to having difficulties or great difficulties in making it to the end of the month. In the area of Tarragona 36.5% of the population live in such conditions, while in the Central Counties (deadlocked Counties) it is only 27.1%.
Moreover, the 2011 survey notes that 40.2% of Catalans cannot cope with an unforeseen spending of \u20AC750. Also, 39.1% cannot go on holiday for at least one week per year. 15.5% of the Catalan population has confirmed they have had a delay in the payment of some house bills. Other worrying figures taken from the survey highlight that 12.7% of Catalans cannot keep the house at a suitable temperature and 3.4% cannot eat a meal of meat or fish every two days.
Catalans seek help from their families
The 2011 survey of living conditions and habits of Catalonia\u2019s population also analysed who Catalans ask for help depending on the problem they have. The majority (72.3%) would seek help from their relatives regarding a lack of income. However, relating to work difficulties, 49.3% of Catalans would contact their acquaintances.
Regarding personal or emotional problems, one out of three would seek help from their acquaintances, whereas 10% would do so from their relatives. If their problems are related to health, 23.7% would seek help from their parents, while 23.1% would do so from their partners.
More Catalans are renting and living near their work
Since the last survey of 2006, the percentage of people living in rental accommodation has increased from 14.1% (2006) to 23% (2011), whereas the percentage of people living in owned homes has decreased. People living in inherited or donated houses decreased from 8.1% to 5.7%. Those living in houses owned by themselves and totally paid for decreased from 42.4% to 38.4%. Those living in houses owned by themselves but with pending payments decreased from 32% in 2006 to 28.5% in 2011.
The total expenditure per household is \u20AC400 per month for home expenses. This figure rises to \u20AC653 per month in rented accommodation.
Regarding location, the percentage of people working near where they live has increased. 37.3% of people that work outside their homes are working in another town, 32.8% are working in another neighbourhood of the same city, and 20.3% work in the same neighbourhood as they live. In 2006, this last category represented 13.6% of Catalans.