The Survey of Income and Living Conditions (SILC) is a household survey, undertaken by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), that provides the data from which key national poverty indicators are derived. The poverty indicators include: the at risk of poverty rate; the consistent poverty rate; and rates of enforced deprivation.
On November 23rd 2022, the CSO published the enforced deprivation results from the SILC 2022. Eleven items are used to assess if people are experiencing deprivation or not, these include: unable to afford to replace any worn out furniture; unable to afford new (not second hand) clothes; unable to afford to have family or friends for a drink or a meal once a month; unable to afford to keep the home adequately warm; unable to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every second day.
It is important to note that these questions focus on a household’s ability to afford something or not, not on what they would chose to do. So, for example, some people may choose to buy second hand clothes rather than new ones, for personal or environmental reasons.
Enforced deprivation was higher in 2022 in comparison to 2021, an increase of 3.3 percentage points to 17.1%. One of the ways the CSO breaks this data down further is by Principal Economic Status, and according to this breakdown “persons that are most likely to be living in enforced deprivation are the unemployed (45.0%), followed by those unable to work due to long-standing health problems (42.7%)”.
The data is also categorised by household composition, and under this heading the household experiencing the highest enforced deprivation were households with one adult and children aged under 18, with a rate of 45.4%. The household with the next highest rate were single adults aged less than 65, with a rate of 25.1%.
There was also a marked contrast between people living in rented or rent free accommodation vis-à-vis owner occupiers, with the CSO noting that “Renters over three times more likely to be living in enforced deprivation than those in owner-occupied homes”. The deprivation rate for people living in rented or rent-free accommodation was 34.1% in 2022.
The CSO also asked people to rate how they perceived their own ability to make ends meet. 5.7% of households said they had a great difficulty in making ends meet in 2022. The CSO noted that “Of households experiencing enforced deprivation, more than nine in ten (93.7%) had at least some difficulty in making ends meet, with 23.8% having great difficulty.”