What is the relationship between working poverty and child poverty?

Having a job is no longer synonymous with a minimum guarantee of a living.


Do you think that people who have a job can make ends meet?


Unfortunately, this is NOT exactly the case. Having a job does not guarantee that you will be able to make ends meet without having to struggle. That’s why in-work poverty exists.


Here, we tell you all about in-work poverty and how it is related to child poverty.

What is working poverty?

In-work poverty is a type of poverty suffered by people who, even if they have a job, do not have enough income to cover their basic needs. Especially those who have a part-time job, whose net monthly salary is too low to cover all their living expenses. 


Above all, the main concern of the working population is paying the rent or the mortgage. According to some data, 10% admit to having fallen behind with regular housing payments, almost twice as many as last year.


With this type of poverty, the concept of “working poor” was born, and 3.2 million people in Spain suffer from it.


Data on working poverty in Spain

Spain has one of the highest in-work poverty rates in the European Union, remaining in second place behind Romania.


According to the latest INE survey on living conditions:

  • Workers having difficulty paying basic household bills, rises from 16.3 in 2019 to 16.9% in 2020.
    25% of working people will not be able to go on holiday, compared to 24.3% in 2019.
  • 8% of employed people will not be able to afford to put an air conditioner in their home. In this case, it has risen considerably compared to 2019, when the percentage was 5.3%.

In addition, the overall Spanish population at risk of poverty or social exclusion rose from 25.3% to 26.4% in the last year.

Did you know that Comunitaria has a social currency that helps reduce in-work poverty?

How is working poverty related to child poverty?

Child poverty in Spain is quite high. According to Eurostat data, one in three children live in poverty.


In the Living Conditions Survey study mentioned above, we have also seen that 32% of households with children and only one worker are poor. Despite the fact that one of the members has a job, they find it difficult to meet their basic needs. This is because families with young children do not have the flexibility to accept any job, either because of time or distance. 


This situation directly affects children living in in-work poverty households. Therefore, we can say that child poverty and in-work poverty are related.


Unfortunately, these families find it much more difficult to escape from poverty. The probability of a household without children escaping poverty is higher than that of a household with children. Specifically 43% compared to 26%.

How to reduce both types of poverty?

The Child Guarantee programme, which we discussed in previous articles, is a solution to reduce both types of poverty. This programme aims to improve the living conditions of children living in poverty-stricken households.


In addition, Comunitaria’s work also aims to contribute to reducing household poverty. Through our social currency, ILLA, we help to improve the lives of people living in poor neighbourhoods, where child poverty and in-work poverty are most prevalent.


Comunitaria creates a great economic and social impact, promoting local commerce, generating local employment and favouring the most vulnerable families.