ONE in five residents in Spain lives beneath the poverty line.
According to the National Institute of Statistics, the average income in Spanish homes last year was €24,609, 1.9 per cent less than in 2010. The number of families finding it “very hard” to make ends meet has increased from 9.8 per cent to 12.7 per cent in 2011.
More than 44 per cent cannot afford to go on holiday for a week in the year, 40 per cent cannot pay for unexpected expenses, and 7.4 per cent are behind on their mortgage, rent, gas or electricity payments. According to Eurostat, the poverty line for 2012 for a household with two adults and two children has been set at €15,455.
Despite these figures, the number of people under the poverty line has fallen by 0.7 per cent from 2011 when it was at 21.8 per cent. This is mainly because people over 65 are less at risk of being under the poverty line as they have a pension and their homes are paid for.
Meanwhile, 25 per cent of families with children are below the poverty line. Almost 40 per cent of single-parent families are living beneath the poverty line, as are 43-5 per cent of non-EU immigrants. The worst affected regions are Andalucia, Extremadura, the Canary Islands and the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla where salaries are lower.