The total number of people affected by severe material deprivation in 2020 was 2.95 million people, of whom 47.4% men and 52.6% women, shares close to the previous year, according to data centralized by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), agerpres reports.Compared to 2017, the severe material deprivation rate decreased by 4.5 percentage points, reaching 15.2% of the population in 2020.
Last year, the incidence of severe material deprivation was higher mainly among children up to 18 years of age (21.4%) and young people aged 18-24 (17.7%). Compared to 2017, in 2020 there were significant decreases, by 6.8 and 6.4 percentage points, respectively, in the shares of people severely constrained by a lack of financial resources in the 50-64 years age range and in those aged 65 and over.
Severe material deprivation was less common among people living in households without dependent children (12.9%) than among those living in households with dependent children (17.1%). Compared to 2017, there was a decrease in severe material deprivation by 7.4 percentage points among households without dependent children and by 2.1 percentage points among households with dependent children.
In households with dependent children, the most difficult situation was in the case of people from large households (consisting of 2 adults with 3 or more dependent children), of whom 43.9% are severely constrained by a lack of financial resources. Also, 25.5% of people in our country living in single-parent households with dependent children are severely constrained by a lack of financial resources, while only 7.7% of people in households consisting of two adults with one child experience severe deprivation.
Severe material deprivation is unevenly distributed in terms of regional profile. In 2020, the highest incidence of severe material deprivation was recorded in the regions of South-East (22.7%) and South-Muntenia (20.6%), with 14.1 and 12 percentage points respectively compared to the West region. Compared to 2019, increases in severe material deprivation were felt in most regions, the highest being recorded in the Center region (3.4 percentage points), followed by the South-East regions by 2 percentage points and the North-East by 1.5 percentage points.
In the European Union, severe material deprivation characterizes the lives of 5.5% of the total number of people, but the differences between Member States are considerably wide.
According to INS, severe material deprivation refers to people who, due to lack of financial resources, cannot afford at least four of the nine components considered essential for a decent living, such as: payment of rent, mortgage or utility bills o time; ensuring adequate heating of the home; the possibility to face unforeseen expenses; payment of one week vacation annually; eating meat or fish at least once every 2 days; owning a color TV; owning a washing machine; owning a telephone (landline or mobile); owning a personal car.