Over one in every six households in Greece were last year at risk of poverty, even though disposable incomes posted a small increase, according to data released on Friday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT), while households relied far more on pensions for support than social benefits.
The ELSTAT report on poverty risk based on 2019 data showed that 698,454 households out of a total of 4,123,242, or 16.9%, faced deprivation last year. These households accounted for 1,881,600 people out of the country’s estimated population of 10,534,857 people.
Three in 10 Greeks (30% or 3,161,900 people) were last year at risk of poverty or social exclusion, the report noted, but that was down 1.8 percentage points from the previous year’s 3,348,500 people in that state. Among working-age (18-64 years) individuals, 31.4% of Greeks were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, a ratio that rose to 53.7% among foreign residents in the country.
ELSTAT also found that the average annual personal disposable income in Greece amounted to 9,382 euros in 2019, rising 3.9% from the year before. According to a parallel survey on financial inequalities, the highest personal annual income for the lower-income bracket of the population amounted to €5,700, while the lowest personal annual income for the section of the population with the highest earnings amounted to €11,625.
Last year, the depth of the poverty risk amounted to 27% of the poverty threshold, posting a reduction from the year before. Based on that rate it is estimated that half (50%) of poor people have an income that is below 73% of the poverty risk threshold, estimated at €4,917 per year for a one-person household. This means that half of the people in this category earn just €3,589 per person per year. The poverty threshold for a household with two adults and two children up to the age of 14 years was estimated at €10,326.
The report further showed that social transfers (including pensions) accounted for 31.6% of the total disposable income of the country’s households, with pensions amounting to 83.2% of that, against 16.8% of social benefits.