At risk of poverty or social exclusion were 22,3% of the population in Cyprus or 194.400 in 2019 (AROPE indicator, one of the 9 headline indicators in the European Union’s strategy «Europe 2020»), according to the results of the Survey on Income and Living Conditions 2019, with income reference period the year 2018.
According to a press release, issued by the Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus, namely, 22,3% of the population was living in households whose disposable income was below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold or was living in severely materially deprived households or was living in households with very low work intensity.
This indicator exhibited an improvement in comparison with the previous year when it stood at 23,9%, continuing its downward trend of the recent years, after reaching in 2015 28,9%, the highest share ever recorded. This improvement is reflected in the percentages of both men and women, with 21,2% και 23,3% respectively, with women maintaining throughout the years their unfavorable position in respect to men. Chart 1 shows the evolution of this indicator in the years 2008 to 2019.
The percentage of the population that was at risk of poverty, meaning that its disposable income was below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, exhibited a decrease, reaching 14,7% in respect to 15,4% that was in 2018.
The highest percentage that this indicator has ever reached was 16,2% in 2015. The at-risk-of-poverty threshold in 2019 has increased to €9.729 for single person households compared to €9.202 which was in 2018 and to €20.431 for households with 2 adults and 2 dependent children compared to €19.323 in 2018.
The percentage of the population that was severely materially deprived, meaning that they could not afford, for example, to pay their rent or utility bills or their loans, or keep their home adequately warm in winter, or face unexpected but necessary expenses (more information in the definitions in the methodological part), decreased in 2019 to 9,1% in comparison to 10,2% that was in 2018.
The percentage of the population aged 0-59 years, that was living in households with very low work intensity, meaning that the adults in the household worked less than 20% of their work potential during the past year, also showed a decrease in 2019, reaching 6,8% in comparison to 8,6% in 2018.
The mean annual disposable income of the household for 2019, with income reference period the year 2018, was €33.584, exhibiting an increase of 9,0% in respect to that of the previous year, which was €30.807.
Income inequality is mainly described by the indicators on income distribution in quintiles, S80/S20 and the income inequality coefficient Gini. In 2019, both ratios of income inequality, referring to income year 2018, exhibited an increase in relation to the previous year, thus indicating a minor deterioration in the income distribution of the households.
Specifically, the ratio S80/S20, which examines the income share of the 20% richer population to that of the 20% poorer population, reached 4,6 units in 2019. Namely, the income share of the 20% richer population was 4,6 times higher than the income share of the 20% poorer population in comparison with 4,3 in 2018. Additionally, the Gini coefficient increased to 31,1%, in relation to 29,1% in 2018.