EU index sees child poverty on rise in Spain, despite return to economic growth

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• Annual AROPE index shows those ‘At Risk of Poverty and/or Exclusion’

• 2.6 million Spanish children at risk, second highest among EU countries

A European Union index measuring poverty and development across the 28 countries of the EU shows that more than a third of all Spanish children – a total of some 2.6 million – are at risk of poverty or social exclusion, despite the recent return to growth of the Spanish economy.

According to the EU’s annual AROPE index (measuring people “At Risk Of Poverty and/or Exclusion”), the percentage of children under age 16 at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Spain topped 35 percent last year – second only to Greece in the European Union.

Spain’s ranking is 10 percentage points above the EU average, according to the index, and the current figure has risen sharply from 31.9 percent in 2013, when Spain’s economy began to emerge from recession.

The AROPE index says a key factor in child poverty is the high number of family wage earners unemployed for two years or more – which in 2014 was nine times the level recorded in 2008, in a country where jobless benefits terminate at 18 months.

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