Statement by the Ministry for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights: the number of severely materially deprived persons has gone down by 25,574
Reference Number: PR210781
The number of severely materially deprived persons has gone down to 3.3% of the Maltese population in 2020. These persons went down by almost 1000 individuals since the previous year. The rate in 2013 was 10.2% and since then, in total these have decreased by 25,574.
This means that the number of severely materially deprived persons today is one third of those in 2013, since the last Nationalist administration. In fact, between 2008 and 2013 these had increased by 27,000 persons.
On the other had the number of materially deprived persons between 2013 and 2020 had decreased by 38,520 persons. At the time 19.9% of the population was materially deprived while in 2020 this number went down to 8.7%, a reduction of 12.2%. This despite there having been a marginal increase of 0.3% between 2019 and 2020.
All this means that while in 2013 one out of every five of the population was materially deprived, today there are less than one out of ten of the population who feel that way. Between 2008 and 2013 these persons increased to 30,000. This also means that in its first 7 years, the present government removed all the increased poverty which was present between 2008 and 2013.
The statistics published by the National Statistics Office revealed these results after research was conducted among a sample of around 4,000 families which were asked to answer 9 questions about how they could materially and socially afford living expenses.
People were considered severely materially deprived if at least four of their answers were negative. When three of the answers were negative, these persons were classified within the materially deprived category.
When compared with 2019, in 2020 there was a percentage reduction among those who may have fallen behind with their rent, house loans or utilities bills and the number of persons who could not afford to keep their homes warm in Winter. On the other hand, there was a percentage increase in the persons who could not afford to face sudden expenses and those who could not afford a week-long holiday away from home.
However when comparing these figures with 2013, one would find a substantial reduction in each dimension of material deprivation, from a reduction of 65,000 persons who could not afford a week-long holiday and a reduction of 63,000 persons who could not afford to pay their electricity bill to a reduction of 16,000 persons who fell behind with payments on loans or rents and a reduction of 13,000 persons who could not afford to face sudden expenses.
A new aspect which is emerging from the NSO statistics is the number of severely materially deprived persons when compared with the population. This shows that while in 2016 there were 423,082 persons who were not severely materially deprived, these have now increased to 488,378 in 2020. In other words, the number of persons who are not severely materially deprived has increased by over 65,000 in the last 4 years. This certainly shows a significant improvement in the general quality of life of Maltese and Gozitans.
In view of these figures the Minister for Social Justice and Solidarity, the Family and Children’s Rights, Michael Falzon has reaffirmed that it is factually clear how this Government not only believes in social justice but also ensures that social solidarity is granted in a factual way to all those who are most in need.