Malta: Survey shows more people struggle to pay mortgage, rent and utility bills

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Based on the income year 2020, the number of at-risk-of-poverty persons living in Malta was estimated at 85,754.

During 2021, respondents who said that their household was in arrears on mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan payments, and respondents who said that they found it difficult to keep the home adequately warm in winter, had the highest increase when compared to the previous year.

According to the European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), this translates into an at-risk-of-poverty (ARP) rate of 16.9 per cent, the same share that was recorded for the previous year. On the other hand, the severe material and social deprivation rate (SMSD) among persons living in households was 5.4 per cent. This figure is 0.3 percentage points higher than that estimated by EU-SILC 2020.

The the two most influential variables were the inability of households to pay one week’s annual holiday away from home (with 33.1% saying that they cannot afford it); and household not able to replace worn-out furniture (15.9%).

At 20.3 per cent, the at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate (AROPE) increased by 0.4 percentage points when compared to that derived from the 2020 survey. The AROPE reveals the share of persons who are either at-risk-of-poverty, severely materially deprived, or residing in a household with low work intensity. The Northern Harbour district registered the highest rate of at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion (AROPE) persons, at 24.2 per cent. The lowest AROPE rate was recorded in the Gozo and Comino district, at 13.8 per cent

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