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Key Findings

The number of people unable to afford to keep their home adequately warm increased in 2022

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

Key Findings

  • The proportion of people living in enforced deprivation increased from 13.8% in 2021 to 17.1% in 2022.

  • The groups most likely to be experiencing enforced deprivation are persons; living in one-adult households with children under 18 (45.4%); unemployed (45.0%); unable to work due to long-standing health problems (42.7%); and living in rented or rent-free accommodation (34.1%).

  • Persons unable to afford a morning, afternoon, or evening out in the last fortnight increased from 3.8% in 2021 to 9.3% in 2022.

  • Persons unable to afford to keep the home adequately warm increased from 3.2% in 2021 to 7.4% in 2022.

  • Households regarding housing costs as a heavy financial burden increased from 23.0% in 2021 to 30.2% in 2022.

  • Households with at least some difficulty in making ends meet increased from 42.0% in 2021 to 49.3% in 2022.

  • Households in mortgage or rent arrears decreased from 11.0% in 2021 to 8.3% in 2022, but households with utility bill arrears increased from 7.0% in 2021 to 9.2% in 2022.

Statistician's Comment

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (23 November 2022) issued enforced deprivation results from the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) for 2022.

Commenting on today’s publication, Eva O’Regan, Statistician in the Income, Consumption and Wealth Division, said:

“Today’s results from the CSO’s SILC 2022 show an overall increase in the proportion of people experiencing deprivation in 2022. The report also highlights the higher incidence of deprivation amongst certain groups such as single-adult households with children; persons unable to work due to long-standing health problems; the unemployed; and those in rented accommodation.

Increase in deprivation

People are defined as experiencing enforced deprivation if they live in a household that could not afford two or more of the 11 basic deprivation items that are considered to be the norm for other households in society. For the full list of deprivation items, see At Risk of Poverty Indicators Explained (PDF 717KB)

In 2022, 17.1% of people were experiencing enforced deprivation, compared with 13.8% in 2021 and 14.3% in 2020.

Increases were also seen in nine of the 11 deprivation items in 2022. The largest increases were in those unable to afford a morning, afternoon, or evening out in the last fortnight, increasing from 3.8% in 2021 to 9.3% in 2022; and among those who are unable to afford to keep the home adequately warm, 3.2% in 2021 and 7.4% in 2022.

Looking at factors such as employment status, household composition, and tenure on deprivation, CSO analysis reveals significant differences.

Self-defined economic status: Individuals who described themselves as unemployed or ‘unable to work due to long-standing health problems’ are more likely to be experiencing higher rates of enforced deprivation, 45.0% and 42.7% respectively. Persons least likely to be experiencing enforced deprivation are the employed (12.4%) and the retired (10.5%). People unable to work due to long-standing health problems are most likely to be unable to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish, or vegetarian equivalent every second day (8.5%), compared with 0.5% of employed persons.

Household Composition: Higher rates of deprivation are seen amongst those living in single-adult households with children, where 45.4% are living in enforced deprivation; 21.5% are unable to afford to keep the home adequately warm; and 18.7% are unable to afford to buy presents for family or friends at least once a year.

For households composed of two adults with up to three children under 18, 18.2% of people are experiencing enforced deprivation; 6.4% are unable to afford to keep the home adequately warm; and 2.1% are unable to afford to buy presents for family or friends at least once a year.

Tenure: People living in rented or rent-free accommodation are over three times more likely to be living in enforced deprivation as those in owner-occupied accommodation, 34.1% and 9.8% respectively. They are also, for example, more likely to be unable to afford a morning, afternoon, or evening out in the last fortnight, 18.0% and 5.6% respectively.

Increased difficulty in making ends meet

Households were asked to rate their self-perceived level of difficulty in making ends meet, with the answer options being: ‘with great difficulty’; ‘with difficulty’; ‘with some difficulty’; ‘fairly easily’; ‘easily’; ‘very easily’.

One in two households (49.3%) said they had at least some difficulty in making ends meet in 2022, compared with 42.0% of households in 2021. The proportion of households reporting great difficulty in making ends meet in 2022 is relatively unchanged from 2021, 5.7% and 5.6% respectively.

Decrease in mortgage and rent arrears

Rent Arrears: Of households that pay rent, 13.4% reported that in the 12-month period prior to their date of interview there was at least one occasion when they did not pay their rent on time due to financial difficulties. The comparable rate in 2021 was 16.2%.

Mortgage Arrears: Of owner-occupied households with an outstanding mortgage, 2.9% reported that they did not pay their mortgage on time due to financial difficulties on at least one occasion in the 12-month period prior to their date of interview, compared with 5.3% in 2021. This decrease can be explained by the phasing out of COVID-19 mortgage breaks on residential mortgages during the latter part of 2020.

Utility Bills: Of the 99.5% of households that indicated they pay utility bills, 9.2% reported there was at least one occasion in the 12-month period prior to their date of interview when they went into arrears on a utility bill because of financial difficulty, a 2.2 percentage point increase on the 2021 estimate of 7.0%.

Increased financial burden of housing costs and loans

Households were asked the extent to which housing costs and the repayment of non-housing related debts are a financial burden to the household. The answer categories were ‘a heavy burden’; ‘somewhat a burden; ‘not a burden at all’.

Housing costs: In 2022, 30.2% of households regard housing costs as a heavy financial burden, compared with 23.0% in 2021. The proportion reporting housing costs to be no burden at all reduced from 30.1% in 2021 to 22.6% in 2022.

Two in five (41.3%) of rented or rent-free households find housing costs to be a heavy burden, compared with 25.3% of owner-occupied households.

Loans: Of the households that indicated they have hire purchase instalments or other loan payments, 20.6% regard the repayment of such loans to be a heavy financial burden in 2022, up from 16.9% in 2021.

Editor's Note

The SILC household survey is the official source of data on household and individual income, and it provides a number of key national poverty indicators, such as; the at risk of poverty rate, the rate of enforced deprivation and the consistent poverty rate. This publication focuses on enforced deprivation.

Data collection for SILC was carried out between January to July 2022. Some material deprivation questions in SILC are subjective in nature and could have been influenced by the temporary conditions that respondents found themselves in during lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. Therefore, some changes in the enforced deprivation observed in 2021 appear to have been temporary.

For further information, please see Background Notes.

Soundbite

These are audio files with 30-second quotes from CSO Statistician with the Income Consumption and Wealth (ICW) Division, Eva O'Regan, about the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC): Enforced Deprivation 2022.  Results in soundbite are rounded to the nearest percentage point.

Media outlets have permission to use the clip as long as they credit the CSO.