• Spain's news in English

One in four Spaniards live in poverty: report

AFP/The Local · 29 Oct 2014, 09:00

Published: 29 Oct 2014 09:00 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The proportion of people living in social exclusion stood at 25.1 percent in mid-2013, up from 16.3 percent in 2007, a year before a decade-long housing bubble collapsed sending the economy into a tailspin, Caritas said in a massive 700-page report.

Of the 11.7 million people who live in social exclusion, 77.1 percent do not have a job and 61.7 percent struggle to keep a roof over their heads.

"Without getting into the economic debate over whether we are in a new growth cycle or not, we must note there are no signs that the tendency towards worsening social problems has not stopped," the report said.

Spain has shown a gradual economic pick-up since emerging from recession in mid-2013, and clocked up growth of 0.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 — the fastest growth in six years — but still suffers from a 23.7-percent unemployment rate, one of the highest in the industrialized world.

The government forecasts the economy will grow 1.3 percent in 2014, bouncing back after six years of crisis that brought it close to financial collapse.

"Economic growth on its own does not lead to equality," Caritas secretary general Sebastian Mora told a news conference.

"What is clear is that to fight poverty and social exclusion, you need to boost social protection. It is true that there have been programmes and plans....but these efforts are absolutely insufficient."

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government has implemented the steepest spending cuts since Spain returned to democracy in the mid-1970s in order to rein in a ballooning public deficit.

Some half a million Spanish households have no source of income, according to Caritas.

The charity said the economic downturn has hit immigrants, especially those from outside the European Union, especially hard.

Story continues below…

More than half of all foreigners from outside the European Union, 52.6 percent, lived in social exclusion in mid-2013 compared with 20.6 percent of all Spaniards.

Tuesday also saw the release of a Unicef report into childhood poverty which showed that Spanish households lost a decade's worth of progress from 2008 to 2012 in terms of median income.

The proportion of Spanish children living in poverty rose from 28.2 percent to 36.3 percent in the same period, the Unicef study found, while the number of 15 to 24-year-olds who were neither studying nor working climbed from 14.3 percent to 18.6 percent.  

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available