• More than a third of Catalan children are at risk of poverty, a figure that continues to grow overwhelmingly

  • Social differences are widening and the richest have six times more income than the poorest

Every July the data on poverty in Catalonia published by the Institute of Statistics they are a reality check in the middle of summer. This 2021 bad results were expected, but not so much, some social entities are sincere. The two indicators that measure poverty rise to all-time highs never recorded and fluctuate between 21.7% and 26.3% of the population. The most punished: children, the elderly and migrants. “It is bleak, unimaginable and draws us the worst scenario to face a social crisis of which we have not yet seen the tip of the iceberg“, they lament from the Taula of Social Entities of the Third Sector.

The statistics published this 2020 are disastrous, but it shows that the worst is yet to come. The economic data from which some of the percentages are calculated, for example the level of income or income, are from 2019. But the surveys that provide another part of the figure were done at the end of 2020, in the midst of the crisis after pandemic restrictions. “We got to the pandemic very badly, and social benefits do not help to get out of poverty. We need a social shock plan, “they insist from La Taula.

The coldest data and what date of 2019 is the at-risk-of-poverty rate. Indicates that for the first time 21.7% of Catalans are poor2.2 points more than the figure for the previous year and also higher since there are records. The AROPE taxa, which takes into account many other variables, stands at 26.3%, that is, one in four Catalans is poor. This same figure was repeated in 2012, in the middle of a wave of evictions after the financial debacle. Severe poverty also rises and exceeds 6%.

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Child poverty without brakes

Those who suffer the most from this reality are children. We went from 31.3% of child poverty to 33%. “You have to take urgent measures to reduce inequality and poverty among those families that need it most. Child poverty impacts in the talent and potential of our society“, says Emilie Rivas, head of Childhood Policies of Save The Children en Catalunya, which recalls that Catalonia only invests 0.8% in childhood policies, compared to 2.2% in the EU.

Another group punished are women over 65 years old. One in five is poor, a figure that is seven points less among men of the same age. Among the elderly, the poverty rate has grown six points in just one year, something that according to the entities shows that the pension system must be changed, especially thinking about widowhood benefits. In general, women accumulate more poverty than men, this year they get four points of difference.

Half of the unemployed are poor

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Another relevant piece of information from the survey says that half of the unemployed, 53%, live below the poverty line. According to the NGOs, it shows the state of the “weak” system of social benefits that must be thoroughly reviewed. Migrants also suffer this scourge, two out of three are poor, that is, 61.6% of them. A fact closely linked to the obstacles of the immigration law, which forces them to live in a precarious and submerged economy. In addition, a third of Catalans cannot leave not a week’s vacation and nor can you assume extra expenses. The drama of the house also emerges. 12.4% cannot pay for their housing on time and 9.4% suffer from energy poverty. Both, record data since 2013.

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Paradoxically, there is a population group that continues to fill their pockets. The richest 20% have six times more money than the poorest 20%, a figure slightly higher than last year. The Gini index, which measures the inequality of a society between 0 and 100, stands at 31.7%.


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