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EU-SILC 2023: Estimates of Material Deprivation and Housing Problems
NR073/2024
Release Date: 24 April 2024
Side View Of A Shocked Young Woman Looking At Mold On Wall
  • The survey revealed that in 2023 the material and social deprivation rate stood at 9.2 per cent, whereas the severe material and social deprivation rate stood at 4.1 per cent.
  • The survey showed that in 2023 the number of persons living in households which were materially and socially deprived stood at 48,969. The number of persons living in households which were severely materially and socially deprived stood at 21,853.
  • In 2023 it was revealed that 159,485 persons lived in a household which couldn’t afford to pay for a one week’s annual holiday away from home, while 84,570 persons lived in households which couldn’t afford to face unexpected financial expenses of €770 and more.
  • In 2023 it was found that the most frequently reported problems by households were pollution, grime or other environmental problems with 34.6 per cent, and noise from neighbours or from the street with 30.5 per cent.
EU-SILC 2023: Estimates of Material Deprivation and Housing Problems
NR073/2024
Release Date: 24 April 2024
The European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey 2023 revealed that the material and social deprivation rate stood at 9.2 per cent, whereas the severe material and social deprivation rate stood at 4.1 per cent.

Side View Of A Shocked Young Woman Looking At Mold On Wall

The European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions Survey (EU-SILC) is a harmonised statistical enquiry which aims to collect comparable data on income, health and disability, employment, and material deprivation. European statistics on material deprivation are based on the perceived capacity, or otherwise, of households to afford a number of items from a set of 13 standard items. these standard items were established at European level as the most relevant components for the measurement of material and social deprivation (Table 1). From these components, two major constructs are derived from EU-SILC, being, the Material and Social Deprivation indicator, and the Severe Material and Social Deprivation indicator.

A person living in a household is deemed to be materially and socially deprived if this person does not afford at least five of the 13 material and social deprivation items, whereas those who do not afford at least seven of these items are considered to be severely materially and socially deprived. In 2023, the material and social deprivation rate stood at 9.2 per cent, whereas the severe material and social deprivation rate stood at 4.1 per cent, a decrease of 0.4 percentage points, and 0.8 percentage points, respectively, when compared to 2022 (Table 2).

With reference to specific deprivation items, 30.0 per cent of the surveyed population stated that their household could not afford to pay for a one-week annual holiday away from home. Furthermore, 15.9 per cent declared that their household would not be able to settle an unexpected financial expense of €770 and over. Moreover, 6.8 per cent could not afford to keep the home adequately warm in winter, and a further 5.7 per cent of the respondents stated that their household was in arrears on mortgage or rent payments, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan payments (Table 1).

Chart 1. Percentage of persons living in Material and Social Deprivation and Severe Material and Social Deprivation

over the past seven years 1

No Data Found

1 Refer to methodological note 7.

Personal indicators on material deprivation

In 2023, it was revealed that less than 5.7 per cent of the surveyed population said that their household could not afford very basic needs, such as replacing worn-out clothes with new (not second-hand) ones, or, owning two pairs of properly-fitting shoes (including a pair of all-weather shoes) (Table 1).

In 2023, 5.6 per cent of children were living in severely materially and socially deprived households. Furthermore, 3.7 per cent of adults aged between 18 and 64 years, and 4.5 per cent of those aged 65 and over were also considered to be severely materially and socially deprived (Chart 2).

Chart 2. Share of persons living in households who were severely materially and socially deprived by age group

Reference year: 2023

No Data Found

Chart 3. Severely materially and socially deprived persons living in private households

over the past six years 1

No Data Found

1 Refer to methodological note 7.

Chart 4. Share of persons living in private households that cannot afford personal deprivation items

Reference year: 2023 (16 years and over)

No Data Found

With reference to the indicators which reflect the quality of life, 6.7 per cent indicated that they do not afford to get together with friends/family (relatives) for a drink/meal at least once a month. A further 11.1 per cent stated that they could not regularly participate in a leisure activity (such as sports or attending a concert). In each quality-of-life indicator, the percentage of females who could not afford an item was higher than the percentage of males (Table 3). In relation to the ability to spend small amounts of money each week for own use, and the availablity of internet connection for personal use at home, 11.9 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively, declared that these are not afforded. The 65+ year-old cohort had the highest percentage of persons who could not afford spending a small amount of money on themselves (13.7 per cent). Furthermore, 2.3 per cent of those aged 65 years and over could not afford an internet connection at home for personal use (Table 4).

Problems with main dwelling

Households were also asked to state whether they were experiencing problems with their main dwelling. The most frequently reported problems in 2023 were pollution, grime or other environmental problems (34.6 per cent), and noise from neighbours or from the street with 30.5 per cent. Of the responding households, 9.0 per cent said they had problems with the dwelling being too dark or not sufficiently well lit, and 7.6 per cent reported problems with crime, violence or vandalism in the area (Chart 5).

Chart 5. Share of households who reported problems in their main dwelling

Reference year 2023

No Data Found

Among the households which reported problems with their main dwelling, in 2023, 45.6 per cent declared that their household suffered from at least one problem, an increase of 3.0 percentage points when compared to the previous year (Chart 6).

over the past two years 1

Chart 6. Households who reported exposure to pollution, grime or other environmental problems, noise from neighbours or from street, or crime, violence or vandalism in the area

2022

No Data Found

2023

No Data Found

1 Refer to methodological note 7.

Methodological Notes

1. Background
The European Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey is an annual enquiry conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) among persons residing in private households in Malta and Gozo.
 
The main scope of this survey is to enable the compilation of statistics on income distribution, relative poverty, material deprivation and social exclusion. This survey has been carried out in Malta since 2005, under European Regulation (EU) No. 1177/2003. This Regulation establishes criteria which ensure the production of high quality and harmonised results at European level. As from 2020, EU-SILC started to be carried out under a new regulation: Regulation (EU) No. 2019/1700 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 October 2019 establishing a common framework for European statistics relating to persons and households, based on data at individual level collected from samples.
 
2. Sample size and response
The EU-SILC sample follows a rotational design whereby every household is surveyed for four consecutive years. This sampling methodology enhances consistency and thus allows for high quality cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis.
 
In 2023 the gross sample size was 5,077 households. Of these, 96 households were ineligible for the survey (i.e. addresses that did not actually exist, could not be located, non-residential addresses, permanently vacant dwellings or institutional households). Consequently, 4,981 households were approached for the interview. Of these, 4,515 completed the survey, resulting in a household response rate of 91 per cent. These households comprised 10,993 residents, of whom 9,565 were aged 16 and over.
 
3. Income reference period
The income reference year of the SILC survey is one calendar year prior to the survey year. Consequently, the income collected in SILC 2023 refers to the calendar year 2022.
 
4. Definitions
Material and Social Deprivation:
In 2017, a set of new Material and Social Deprivation (MSD) indicators were adopted by all the European Union (EU) Member States. The new indicators are the Material and Social deprivation (MSD) indicator and the Severe Material and Social Deprivation (SMSD) indicator. These indicators are based on 13 items: 7 household items and 6 personal items.
Household items:
● face unexpected expenses;
● afford one week annual holiday away from home;
● avoid arrears (in mortgage, rent, utility bills and/or hire purchase instalments);
● afford a meal with meat, chicken or fish or vegetarian equivalent every second day;
● afford keeping their home appropriately warm;
● have access to a car/van for personal use;
● replace worn-out furniture.
 
Personal items:
● replace worn-out clothes with some new ones;
● have two pairs of properly fitting shoes;
● spend a small amount of money each week on him/herself (“pocket money”);
● have regular leisure activities;
● get together with friends/family for a drink/meal at least once a month;
● have an internet connection.
 
These two indicators have replaced the Material Deprivation (MD) indicator and the Severe Material Deprivation (SMD) indicator, which were based on a smaller number of items (9 items). Compared to the previous indicator, the new MSD indicator includes 7 new items. The personal items, which are related to social deprivation, are all new, while only one household item (replace worn-out furniture) is a new item. Three items previously used for the computation of the MD and the SMD indicators (ability to afford a washing machine, a TV and a telephone) were not retained in the new MSD indicator.
 
Persons lacking at least five items out of the 13 material and social deprivation items are considered to be materially and socially deprived.
 
Persons lacking at least seven items out of the 13 material and social deprivation items are considered to be severely materially and socially deprived.
 
Percentages may not add up due to rounding.
 
5. Key
: Data not published due to unreliable survey estimates as a result of:
      1.      less than 20 reporting households; or
      2.      the non-response for the item concerned exceeds 50%.
 
[ ] Figures to be used with caution: figures between 20 and 49 reporting households or with non-response for the item concerned that exceeds 20% and is lower or equal to 50%.
N/A Not applicable
 
6. Sample used for the EU-SILC survey was extracted from a database based on the Census of Population and Housing 2021.
 
7. Following the 2021 Population and Housing Census, NSO introduced a new sampling frame of households and individuals which was used for the first time EU-SILC as from 2023.  In addition, EU-SILC was benchmarked with updated demographic estimates derived from this census.  NSO ran several tests which revealed little impact of statistical significance on the core EU-SILC indicators. Consequently, it was concluded that revisions on past time series data were not necessary.  NSO still feels appropriate flagging these methodological changes, primarily because they may influence the interpretation of changes in household and individual counts in EU-SILC 2023, when compared to previous years.
 
8. More information relating to this news release may be accessed at:
 
9. References to this news release are to be cited appropriately. For guidance on access and re-use of data please visit our dedicated webpage.
 
10. A detailed news release calendar is available online.
 
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