Press Release

Indicators characterising material deprivation

The income of each sixth or 16% of Europe inhabitants do not reach minimum level of subsistence, as said in lately published European Commission (EC) annual report on social integration of 2004. What is the situation in Latvia?

According to data of Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) from survey "Committee statistics on income and life conditions" (EU-SILC) of 2005 the risk index of poverty in Latvia was 19%. Higher than average indicator in EU it was only in four more member states. But data show that in several household groups the risk of poverty in Latvia was considerably higher than on average in EU countries – for households owned by unemployed, for households owned by one person aged 65 or more, which consist of one married couple and three or more children. The risk of poverty in such households in Latvia was the third highest in EU.

But it is necessary to recognize that income even above poverty risk threshold not always guarantee appropriate quality of life. In this press release wider will be analysed such statistically few researched phenomenon as material deprivation. The material deprivation is defined as conditions to which people are denied certain material things in life because of absence of economic resources, unsatisfactory housing and compulsory refusal from consumer goods.

Within EU-SILC survey are investigating the fallowing dimension of material deprivation:

· economic tension;

· compulsory refusal from usage of durable goods;

· unsatisfactory housing.

Data testifying the influence of each mentioned dimension of material deprivation are given in fallowing graph.

Povery risk and household dependence on different risk factors of material deprivation

As shows data of the graph the most important risk factor of material deprivation is economic tension. On it according to EU-SILC data in 2005 depended 74% of private household total number in Latvia. The economic tension is determined with several questions of EU-SILC questionnaire, in which the respondents were asked to evaluate the household’s ability to cover fallowing expenses:

· eating meat, poultry or fish every second day;

· every year to spend one week away from home on own money;

· ability to cover unforeseen expenses of 60 lats from your money in a month;

· financially provide house heating;

· ability to cover different public payments and pay for purchases on credit.

Households that answered negatively to two questions were considered to be dependent on economic tension. On it according to EU-SILC data of 2005 depended 73% of households in cities and 77% in rural areas. The dominating factors to determine economic tension can bee seen in fallowing graph.

The rate of households which can not afford fallowing expenses

Describing compulsory refusal from usage of durable goods in EU-SILC were used questions about rate of households, which cannot afford usage of such durable and household commodities as telephone, colour TV set, washing machine and auto. Total per cent of households that were obliged to refuse from at least of one of these durable goods in their household was 46-48%, both in cities and in rural areas but excluding from this list auto – in 22% of cases. The per cent of compulsory refusal from telephone (including mobile telephone) usage were found in 8.5% of households, but colour TV set – in 4.4% of households.

Considerably bigger problems for households make the risk of house condition social exclusion. For this risk in Latvia depend 51% of households. This factor in EU-SILC was characterized with help of fallowing dimensions:

· house have leaking roof; moisture walls, ceiling, floors or foundations or rot in window framing, doors or floors

· it is too dark, lack of light;

· house do not have bathroom or shower;

· house do not have sewerage.

It is considered that household is exposed to unsatisfactory household condition material deprivation risk, if in it occurs at least one of mentioned house quality problems. As show EU-SILC data housing problems are much bigger for households situated in rural areas, in which house conditions almost in each second household erased uneasiness about condition of its walls, ceiling, floor and foundations, though also in cities on third of households mentioned problems of the same character.

Rate of separate usatisfacory housing condtions in hoseholds in 2005

The EU-SILC survey in Latvia since 2005 is organized on a regular bases and at the moment is carried out running survey. The results of survey will allow to analyse the process of material deprivation in dynamics about it CSB will inform in the further press releases.

Prepared by Social Statistics department 26266482
Edmunds Vaskis

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