One in five under poverty level, but it’s not all doom


WHILE the average Spanish household has an income of €25,732, one in five residents in Spain fall under the poverty level. The household income only suffered a minor year-on-year fall of 2.9 per cent, but with rising cost of living the gap is being felt by families in Spain.

However, the vast majority (85.2 per cent) of ever-sociable Spanish adults admitted they go out to meet friends or family for a meal or a drink at least once a month.


One in three (36.7 per cent) families in Spain fear they do not have the capacity to meet unexpected costs should these arise, and almost as many struggle to make it to the end of the month, according to National Statistics Institute (NIE) data for 2010.

The age bracket most likely to fall under the poverty threshold are the over 65s, with 24.6% in this category. However, elderly people are statistically finding it easier to make ends meet, as the figures over the past few years show when in 2007, 28.2 per cent were officially ‘poor’.

One expatriate pensioner living in Spain said, “I’d rather be poor in Spain than back home. The sun and sea are free, and so is the siesta.”

Six in ten families manage at least one week-long holiday away from home a year, but with national tourism seemingly on the rise, they do not appear to be venturing further than the Costas.

NIE data for last year was also released this week which showed that Andalucia ranked among the Spanish regions with the highest poverty levels, with 29.3 per cent.

Meanwhile the lowest levels in Spain can be found in the Navarra and Basque Country regions with 7.4 per cent and 9.4 per cent respectively.

The highest in Spain were its two North African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla, with 36.6 per cent.

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