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The cost of housing, the gender gap and insufficient support for families with children, key factors in the generation of poverty in Spain [editar]

17 October, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty


The cost of housing, the gender gap and insufficient support for families with children, key factors in the generation of poverty in Spain
  • Coinciding with the celebration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Spanish European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN-ES), of which the Fundación Secretariado Gitano is a member, presented its 13th Report 'The State of Poverty in Spain. Monitoring of the indicators of the EU 2030 Agenda. 2015-2022', a leading research work on poverty indicators in Spain and its regions.
  • EAPN-ES also organised a Space for the Dialogue in the Congress of Deputies with the participation of Sara Giménez, President of Fundación Secretariado Gitano.

The report was presented to the press at an event organised by EAPN-ES, followed by a public presentation in the Congress of Deputies, attended by representatives of institutions and third sector organisations, academics and experts from different fields.

This edition of the report includes as a novelty an analysis of the relationship between poverty and social exclusion rates and specific elements such as housing, gender, age or the influence of habitat. The conclusions in this regard are worrying: the cost of housing, the gender gap and insufficient support for families with children are key factors in the generation of poverty in Spain.

In the case of housing, in 2022, four out of five people with high housing expenditure were poor (79.1%). Spending on housing among the poor is equivalent to 39.1% of household income, more than three times as much as for the non-poor (12.5%).

On the other hand, gender inequality is a historical and structural problem that requires specific approaches, given the temporary maintenance of worse indicators of poverty and/or social exclusion among women. According to the report, 27.2% of women and 24.8% of men were at risk of poverty and/or exclusion. Moreover, recovery policies do not reach both genders equally: since 2015, social policies have managed to reduce the number of poor men by half a million, while only 61 000 women have been lifted out of poverty in the same period.

Linked to the above, one of the most worrying findings of the report concerns families with children, who have higher figures for all indicators of poverty and exclusion. This situation of vulnerability translates into high levels of child poverty. In Spain, almost 2.6 million children and adolescents are at risk of poverty and/or social exclusion, a third of the total (32.2%).

It also shows that employment and education continue to be fundamental for their preventive potential, although they are losing strength as factors of protection against poverty. In 2022, a trend detected in recent years (as a result of low wages and the precariousness of the labour market since 2008) is reaffirmed: employment without adequate conditions does not guarantee sufficient income to escape poverty (32.9% of poor people have a salaried job).

A similar situation can be seen in education. According to the report, 42.9% of the population at risk of poverty and/or social exclusion has completed secondary or higher education, while one in ten people with higher education is at risk of poverty. In absolute terms, 1.4 million poor people have higher education, a figure that has doubled since 2008 (674 000 people), and is the highest in the entire period studied.


In general terms, the indicators of poverty and social exclusion have improved compared to 2021. According to the report, in 2022 there were 12.3 million people at risk of poverty and social exclusion in Spain, 26% of the population, 800 000 fewer people than in 2021. This figure is still far from the targets set by the UN in the 2030 Agenda.

The number of people in severe poverty has also been reduced by some 600 000. However, these figures are still extraordinarily high: 4.2 million people survive on an income of less than €560 per month per consumption unit. A similar trend can be seen in the inequality data, which has fallen to 2008 levels: the median income per person has increased the most since 2008, reaching €13 008 (€738 more than in 2021).

However, despite the overall improvement, the deterioration of some indicators shows the impact of the recent crises on the most vulnerable households, associated with housing, food and energy prices. In 2022, almost half of the Spanish population had difficulty making ends meet (47.8%); a third could not afford at least one week's holiday a year (33.5%); and 17.1% were unable to keep their homes at an adequate temperature (14.3% in 2021 and 10.9 % in 2020).


Another of the new features of the Report is the analysis of the role of the State Administrations in sustaining people's quality of life. According to the data, without social protection policies and public pensions, the number of people living in poverty would double, affecting almost half of the population. In the case of severe poverty, it would affect almost a third of the population and inequality would be exorbitant: the richest 20% would earn around 48 times more than the poorest 20%.