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Introduction and Summary of Main Findings

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The Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) in Ireland is a household survey covering a broad range of issues in relation to income and living conditions.  It is the official source of data on household and individual income and provides a number of key national poverty indicators, such as the at risk of poverty rate, the consistent poverty rate and rates of enforced deprivation.  This report presents the main results for enforced deprivation for 2019 and comparable data for previous years.

The deprivation rate measures the proportion of households that are considered to be marginalised or deprived because they cannot afford goods and services which are considered to be the norm for other people in society. Enforced deprivation is where a household experiences two or more of the following 11 deprivation items:

1. Without heating at some stage in the last year

2. Unable to afford a morning, afternoon or evening out in last fortnight

3. Unable to afford two pairs of strong shoes

4. Unable to afford a roast once a week

5. Unable to afford a meal with meat chicken or fish every second day

6. Unable to afford new (not second-hand) clothes

7. Unable to afford a warm waterproof coat

8. Unable to afford to keep the home adequately warm

9. Unable to afford to replace any worn out furniture

10. Unable to afford to have family or friends for a drink or a meal once a month

11. Unable to afford to buy presents for family or friends at least once a year

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In 2019, 17.8% of the population was defined as living in enforced deprivation.  This compares with 15.1% in 2018 and a high of 30.5% in 2013.

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Most socio-demographic groups experienced an increase in 2019 enforced deprivation rates year-on-year. The largest increase was observed in those living in rented accommodation, where 34.4% were living in enforced deprivation in 2019, compared to 27.4% in 2018. There was little change in the year-on-year deprivation rate of those living in owner-occupied accommodation (10.3% in 2019 and 10.0% in 2018).

Those living in households with one adult and one or more children aged under 18 had the highest enforced deprivation rate in 2019 at 45.4%. Unemployed individuals (36.0%) and those individuals who were not at work due to permanent illness or disability (43.3%) also had high enforced deprivation rates in 2019.The lowest enforced deprivation rates in 2019 were observed amongst the retired (9.4%), households with three or more persons at work (7.4%), and those with a third level degree or higher (5.3%).

In 2019, the most common item of deprivation experienced was the inability to afford to replace any worn out furniture (18.1%), followed by being unable to afford to have family or friends for a drink or meal once a month (13.6%) and being unable to afford a morning, afternoon or evening out in the last fortnight (11.7%).

Seven in ten individuals (70.4%) experienced none of the 11 types of deprivation items in 2019, similar to the 2018 figure of 70.9%, and an increase on a low of 55.1% in 2013.

The proportion of the population experiencing three or more types of deprivation items increased from 9.9% in 2018 to 12.0% in 2019, this compares with a high of 20.9% in 2013.

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