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One in six at risk of poverty or social exclusion

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One in six, or 150,000 people, are at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Cyprus, according to the results of the Survey on Income and Living Conditions 2022.

According to AROPE, the main indicator to monitor the EU 2030 target on poverty and social exclusion, 16.7% of the population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion since they were living in households whose disposable income was below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold or were severely materially and socially deprived or had very low work intensity.

The indicator exhibited a minor improvement from the previous year (17.3%), continuing its recent downward trend.

This improvement is reflected in both women and men, although women are maintaining their unfavourable position over men throughout the years.

Furthermore, the improvement of the indicator is attributed to the decrease in the percentage of the population living in households with very low work intensity (from 5.8% in 2021 to 4.1% in 2022).

This is the percentage of the population aged 0-64 living in households whose adults aged 18-64 worked less than 20% of their work potential during the past year.

From the adults are excluded students aged 18-24, people who are retired according to their self-defined current economic status or who receive any pension (except survivor’s pension), people aged 60-64 who are inactive and living in a household where the main income is pensions.

In addition, in 2022, the percentage of the population at risk of poverty, meaning that its disposable income was below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, was 13.9% or 125,000, remaining around the same level in 2021 (13.8%).

The at-risk-of-poverty threshold, defined at 60% of the median total equivalised disposable income of the households, was estimated in 2022 at €10,713 for single-person households and €22,498 for households with two adults and two dependent children.

The respective thresholds for 2021 were €10,011 and €21,024. The median equivalised disposable income in 2022 was €17,855 from €16,825 in 2021.

It is worth noting the percentage of the population living at risk of poverty before any social benefits and pensions were included in the disposable income of the households was estimated at 33.3%.

When only pensions were included in the disposable income of the households, this percentage was reduced to 20.1%; when social benefits were further included, the percentage was reduced to 13.9%.

Social transfers reduce the percentage of people living at risk of poverty.

Last year, all the social transfers reduced the indicator by 19.4 percentage points (13.2% due to pensions and 6.2% as a result of the social benefits).