Back to Top

 Skip navigation

Poverty and Deprivation

Open in Excel:

In 2019, the ‘at risk of poverty’ rate was 12.8% compared with 14.0% in 2018.  While the change between 2018 and 2019 is not statistically significant, there is a statistically significant change in the at risk of poverty rate between 2017 (15.7%) and 2019. See table 3.1 & figure 3.1.

An individual is defined as being at risk of poverty if their nominal equivalised disposable income is under the at risk of poverty threshold, i.e. 60% of the median nominal equivalised disposable income.  See At Risk of Poverty Indicators Explained (Pdf 717kb).

X-axis labelAt Risk of PovertyDeprivationConsistent PovertyDeprivation rate for those at risk of poverty
200419.414.16.633.8
200518.314.8738
200617146.638.6
200716.511.85.131.1
200814.413.74.229.1
200914.117.15.538.8
201014.722.66.342.9
20111624.56.943.2
201216.9278.248.8
201316.230.5955.3
201416.728.98.349.7
201516.325.48.551.9
201616.2218.250.4
201715.718.86.742.8
20181415.15.640.3
201912.817.85.542.7

An analysis by socio-demographic characteristics showed that those most at risk of poverty in 2019 were those individuals who were not at work due to illness or disability (37.5%) and individuals who were unemployed (35.4%). This compares with an at risk of poverty rate of 4.6% for those that described their principal economic status as ‘at work’.  See figure 3.2. 

X-axis labelAt Risk of PovertyDeprivationConsistent Poverty
At work4.611.41.3
Unemployed35.43620.2
Student19.417.35.4
Home duties22.824.29.9
Retired11.19.42.1
Not at work due to
permanent illness
or disability
37.543.318.1

The at risk of poverty rate for individuals in households with one adult and one or more children aged under 18 was 29.7%, compared with 6.1% for persons in households composed of two adults, where at least one is aged 65 or over and there are no children under 18.

At risk of poverty rate anchored at a moment in time

For a given year, the “at risk of poverty rate anchored at a moment in time” is the share of the population whose income in a given year is below the at risk of poverty threshold calculated in the standard way for a previous base year and then adjusted for inflation.  The purpose of this indicator is to get some indication of the changes in ‘absolute poverty’ over time.  The deflator is derived from the monthly CPI and takes into account the rolling nature of the income data collected by SILC.

In 2019, the at risk of poverty rate anchored at 2004 was 4.7%, compared with 19.4% in 2004.

X-axis labelAt Risk of Poverty Anchored at 2004 At Risk of Poverty
200419.419.4
200517.918.3
200615.717
200711.516.5
200810.314.4
200910.914.1
201013.214.7
201116.116
201218.316.9
201318.216.2
201417.716.7
201514.516.3
201612.916.2
201711.115.7
20186.614
20194.712.8

Impact of social transfers on the at risk of poverty rate

In 2019, if all social transfers and pension income were excluded from income, the ‘at risk of poverty’ rate would have been 41.4%, little changed from the 2018 rate of 40.9%. In the period since 2004, the ‘at risk of poverty’ rate without social transfers peaked at 50.7% in 2011 and was at its lowest in 2004 (39.8%).  The general decrease between 2011 and 2019 shows a decreasing dependence of individuals on social transfers to remain above the ‘at risk of poverty’ threshold during this period.  See table 3.3. & figure 3.4.

X-axis labelIncluding all Social Transfers (60% median income threshold)Including Old-Age and Survivors' Benefits but Excluding all Other Social TransfersExcluding all Social Transfers
200419.432.739.8
200518.331.940
20061732.240.2
200716.533.140.9
200814.434.643
200914.13646.2
201014.739.150.2
20111639.850.7
201216.939.150.2
201316.238.149.5
201416.737.149
201516.334.746.2
201616.233.444.9
201715.732.343.8
20181430.240.9
201912.830.641.4
Open in Excel:

Up until 2019 the CSO published Deprivation results as part of annual SILC publication. In 2020 these results were published in a separate earlier release.  See SILC: Enforced Deprivation 2019.

In 2019, 17.8% of the population were defined as living in enforced deprivation, i.e. experienced two or more of the eleven types of deprivation.  This compares with 15.1% in 2018 and a high of 30.5% in 2013.  The increase in the enforced deprivation rate between 2018 and 2019 was statistically significant.

Deprivation by poverty status

The deprivation rate for those at risk of poverty was 42.7% in 2019 compared with a high of 55.3% in 2013.  The deprivation rate for those not at risk of poverty was 14.2% in 2019, compared with a high of 25.8% in 2013.  See table 3.3.

Open in Excel:

The consistent poverty measure is defined as people who are both at risk of poverty and experiencing enforced deprivation.  The consistent poverty rate in 2019 was 5.5% compared with 5.6% in 2018, this is not a statistically significant change.  See table 3.1 & figure 3.1.  

An analysis of consistent poverty rates by principal economic status shows that the consistent poverty rate was highest among unemployed individuals (20.2%) and lowest among those who were at work (1.3%) and those who were retired (2.1%).

Further analysis of consistent poverty rates by household composition shows that individuals living in households where there was one adult and one or more children aged under 18 had the highest consistent poverty rate at 17.1%.  The consistent poverty rate was lowest for individuals living in households where there were two more adults, with at least one aged 65 or over, and no children (1.0%).

X-axis labelAt Risk of PovertyDeprivationConsistent Poverty
1 adult aged 65
years and over
17.614.34.1
1 adult aged
less than
65 years
28.820.910
2 adults,
at least 1
aged 65 years
and over
6.19.31
2 adults,
both aged
less than
65 years
1011.24.2
3 or more adults6.714.12.1
1 adult,
with children
under
18 years
29.745.417.1
2 adults, with
1-3 children
under 18 years
11.917.16.1
Other
households
with children
under 18 years
12.722.15.2

The male and female consistent poverty rates were 5.4% and 5.6% respectively. In terms of age, children aged 0-17 were most likely to be in consistent poverty (8.1%), followed by persons aged 18-64 (5.1%) and those aged 65 and over (2.3%).

An analysis of consistent poverty rates by tenure status shows that the rate for those living in owner-occupied dwellings was 1.8% compared with 13.5% for those living in renting accommodation.

At Risk of PovertyDeprivationConsistent Poverty
Owner-occupied7.310.31.8
Rented or rent free24.834.413.5
Open in Excel:
Show Table: Table 3.1 At risk of poverty, deprivation and consistent poverty rates by year

Show Table: Table 3.2 Nominal at risk of poverty thresholds by year

Show Table: Table 3.3 Key national indicators of poverty and social exclusion by year

Show Table: Table 3.4 The number of deprivation items experienced by year

Show Table: Table 3.5a Percentage of the population experiencing each type of deprivation by poverty status and year

Show Table: Table 3.5b Percentage of the population experiencing each type of deprivation by deprivation status and year

Show Table: Table 3.5c Percentage of the population experiencing each type of deprivation by consistent poverty status and year

Show Table: Table 3.6 Profile of population at risk of poverty, experiencing deprivation and in consistent poverty by demographic characteristics and year

Show Table: Table 3.7 Summary of deprivation indicators by net equivalised income decile, 2019

Statbank Tables are here

Go to next chapter >>> Annex