The drop in income in the first year of the pandemic pushed Portugal to the eighth position on the list of European countries with the highest risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2021, according to Eurostat data.

The deterioration in the national relative position takes place after the national rate rose to 22.4% in the last national survey on income and living conditions, with more than 2.3 million people living below the poverty line, in conditions of severe material deprivation or with weak ties to the labour market that place them in a situation of social exclusion, according to data released earlier this year by INE.

The poverty rate, which covers only individuals with incomes below the poverty threshold (554 euros net monthly), rose to 18.4%, covering 1.9 million people.

The poverty and social exclusion rate advanced by 2.4 percentage points, and the poverty rate by 2.2 percentage points in Portugal, in data that reflect the conditions of families in 2020.

The 2.4-point increase in the poverty and exclusion rate in Portugal represents the worst worsening in the conditions of families in the European bloc, where despite the effects of the pandemic, 12 countries managed to lift the population out of poverty.

Romania maintains the worst indicators, with more than a third of the population (34.4%) in a situation of poverty or social exclusion, followed by Bulgaria (31.7%), Greece (28.3%), Spain (27, 8%), Latvia (26.1%), Italy (25.2%) and Lithuania (23.4%).

The best indicators are obtained by the Czech Republic (10.7%), Slovenia (13.2%) and Finland (14.2%).

On average for the bloc, the rate of poverty and exclusion rose to 21.7%, advancing one tenth, and covering 95.4 million people.