Slightly more than 17% of the population in Cyprus were in 2021 at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
According to the results of the Survey on Income and Living Conditions 2021, with income reference period the year 2020, 17.3% of the population or 154,000 persons were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, according to the Statistical Service of Cyprus.
It is noted that the AROPE indicator is the main indicator to monitor the EU 2030 target on poverty and social exclusion.
The Statistical Service says that 17.3% of the population was living in households whose disposable income was below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold or was severely materially and socially deprived or was living in households with very low work intensity.
This indicator exhibited a minor improvement in comparison with the previous year when it stood at 17.6%, continuing its downward trend of the recent years. This improvement is reflected exclusively in the percentage of men (15.8%), as the percentage of women remained almost at the same level (18.7%) as the previous year. Throughout the years, women are maintaining their unfavorable position in respect to men, it is added.
At-Risk-of-Poverty Indicator (AROP)
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 slight decrease, reaching 13.8% in respect to 14.3% that was in 2020.
The highest percentage that this indicator has ever reached was 16.2% in 2015.
The at-risk-of-poverty threshold remained nearly unchanged between the years 2021 and 2020, reaching €10,011 for single person households in 2021 compared to €10,022 in 2020 and to €21,024 for households with 2 adults and 2 dependent children compared to €21,047 in 2020.
Severe Material and Social Deprivation Indicator (SMSD)
The percentage of the population that was severely materially and socially deprived, meaning that they were experiencing enforced lack of at least 7 out of 13 deprivation items (7 related to the household and 6 to the individual), has decreased to 2.6% in 2021 in comparison to 3.2% in 2020.
At the household level, the deprivation refers to the financial inability of household to face unexpected expenses, to pay rent or utility bills or loans, to keep home adequately warm, etc., while at the individual level to the financial inability of the individual to spend a small amount of money each week on him/herself, to have regular leisure activities, to get together with friends/family for a drink/meal at least once a month, etc.
Very Low Work Intensity Indicator (LWI)
The percentage of the population aged 0-64 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, showed a minor increase in 2021, reaching 5.6% in comparison to 5.3% in 2020.
The mean annual disposable income of the household for 2021, with income reference period the year 2020, was €34,227, exhibiting an increase of 1.1% in respect to that of the previous year, which was €33,862. Income inequality is mainly described by the indicators on income distribution in quintiles, S80/S20 and the income inequality coefficient Gini.
In 2021, these indicators remained almost at the same level in relation to the previous year. Specifically, the ratio S80/S20, which examines the income share of the 20% richer population to that of the 20% poorer population, reached 4.2 units in 2021. Namely, the income share of the 20% richer population was 4.2 times higher than the income share of the 20% poorer population in comparison with 4.3 in 2020. Additionally, the Gini coefficient reached 29.4%, in relation to 29.3% in 2020.