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The at-risk-of-poverty rate increased to 18.4% in 2020
Income and Living Conditions
The at-risk-of-poverty rate increased to 18.4% in 2020 - 2021
17 December 2021


The Survey on Income and Living Conditions held in 2021 on previous year incomes shows that 18.4% of the population was at-risk-of-poverty in 2020, 2.2 percentage points (pp) more than in 2019. The at-risk-of-poverty rate in 2020 corresponded to the proportion of inhabitants with an annual net equivalent monetary income below EUR 6,653 (EUR 554 per month).

The increase in the at-risk-of-poverty was more severe for women (plus 2.5 pp, from 16.7% in 2019 to 19.2% in 2020), particularly in the case of older women (3.0 pp more, from 19.5% to 22.5%).

The European Union's economic growth strategy for the next decade, called the Europe 2030 strategy, defines, among other objectives, the reduction of the number of people at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion in the European Union by at least 15 million people in 2030, and sets out a new indicator for monitoring the population at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion, combining the conditions of relative poverty, severe material and social deprivation and a new indicator on very low work intensity per capita.

In 2021 (incomes of 2020), in Portugal, 2,302 thousand people were at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion (people at-risk-of-poverty or living in households with very low work intensity per capita or in situations of severe material and social deprivation). Consequently, the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate was 22.4%, i.e. 2.4 pp more than in the previous year.

Portugal was, in general, a more unequal society in 2020: the Gini Coefficient, which reflects income differences across all population groups, recorded a value of 33.0%, 1.8 pp more than in the previous year (31.2%), and the S80/S20 ratio, which compared the sum of the equivalent net monetary income of the 20% of the population with the highest resources with the sum of the equivalent net monetary income of the 20% of the population with the lowest resources, increased 14%, from 5.0 in 2019 to 5.7 in 2020. Inequality has increased in all NUTS 2 regions, with the exception of the Região Autónoma dos Açores. The region Centro was the one where inequality increased the most.

The 2021 survey collected some data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic:

- between May and September 2021, 16.4% of families reported a reduction in household income in the previous 12 months, a figure that remains much higher than that obtained in pre-pandemic (10.3% in 2019); 27.5% of the households that reported the reduction in household income indicated the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason;

- 5.0% of households reported having received COVID-19 associated monetary support from the Government in 2020 related to the conditions of employees; 2.9% of households received self-employed support; and 2.4% of the households received monetary support related to family, children and housing.

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