The working poor have an elevated risk of slipping into poverty compared to residents on unemployment benefits, with single parent families facing the most danger, Luxembourg’s statistics bureau has reported.
Statec said fixed expenses that cannot be reduced “accounts for 36% of a monthly budget and increases the risk of household poverty.”
The country’s overall poverty rate was 18.3%, the bureau stated, although this was a number that constantly evolved as people’s work and living situations changed.
According to Statec:
“Having a job does not make someone fully immune against poverty, as 13.4% of people in employment are at risk of poverty; this rate is four times higher than for an unemployed person....”
“Even if the 2018 average poverty rate is, statistically speaking, stable, it does not affect the different sectors of society in the same way.
“Single-parent families are very vulnerable (40.7%), followed by families with more than two children (30.4%) and single people (27.8%). Without state intervention via social transfers, poverty would be even more pronounced; the rate would peak at 27.5% instead of 18.3%. In addition, social transfers in kind are not included in these calculations. Statec estimates that taking [the state’s] childcare service vouchers into account would have further reduced the rate by about 1 percentage point in 2018.
“Even though the poverty rate is stable compared to 2017, purchasing power inequality, as measured by disposable income adjusted to household size, has increased. The 10% of the wealthiest people have an average income that is 10 times higher than that of the 10% less affluent.”
The statistics agency estimated that the poverty line for a single adult in the grand duchy is a monthly income of €2,013 and for a “decent standard of living” is €2,110 a month. Housing takes up 54%, and groceries account for 14% of that €2,110.
For a couple with two children, Statec calculated the minimum monthly income required for a “decent standard of living” as €4,213, even though the poverty line is just slightly higher, at €4,227. Housing represents 39% and groceries another 24% of that €4,213 monthly budget.