The data is contained in the report “Portugal, Social Balance 2020 - A portrait of the country and the effects of the pandemic”, from the Faculty of Economics of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, NOVA SBE.
The report was produced by the institution's economist and professor, Susana Peralta, in co-authorship with Bruno P. Carvalho and Mariana Esteves.
In the first part, it provides a statistical portrait of the socio-economic situation of families, focusing on the period between 2016 and 2019, but focusing mainly on the years 2018 and 2019.
The statistics are based on data from the Survey on Living and Income Conditions, done in Portugal annually by the National Statistics Institute (INE)
The report points to a downward trend in the risk of poverty rate in the country over the last decade, but the percentage was still 17.2 percent in 2019, above the average of European Union, but it would be much higher without state support.
“Social transfers are important tools for reducing poverty. In 2019, the proportion of people in poverty, before social transfers, was 43.4 percent”, points out in the report.
Speaking to Lusa News Agency, Susana Peralta underlined the link between poverty and low wages, which is the reality in Portugal, as well as the relationship with the labor market.
According to the report “the unemployed are the group with the highest poverty rate in 2019 (42 percent)” and “working full time is also no guarantee of getting out of poverty – 46 percent of the poor population lives in households where the adults work more than 85 percent of the time, that is, practically full-time”, adding that in addition to the unemployed, poverty is also more prevalent among single-parent families and individuals with lower levels of education”.
“Portugal, being a country with low wages and a precarious level of the labor market among the highest in the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), means that people have relations with the labor market that do not protect them from poverty”, Said Susana Peralta.