Press release: 12.797-095/22

COVID-19 pandemic caused a rise in share of persons in households with low work intensity; social transfers have a stabilizing effect on household income situation

Vienna, 2022-04-28 – The Corona crisis has increased the share of persons in households with no or very low work intensity, but in the short term this has not had a negative impact on material living conditions so far. In 2021 according to Statistics Austria 160 000 persons or 1.8% of the population in Austria have been severely materially or socially deprived as they could not afford several basic needs as defined by a European minimum living standard. This number has decreased compared to the year before. These are some major results coming from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) surveyed by Statistics Austria during the first half of 2021.

"Despite the massive economic and employment downturn social consequences of the crisis in 2021 could to a large extent be prevented. Social transfer payments have become a more significant source of income. More than one million people had income mainly from social transfers, such as unemployment or family benefits, in the first year of the COVID 19 pandemic. Those households, however, have less financial leeway than others," says Statistics Austria Director General Tobias Thomas.

In total, in 2021 there were 1 519 000 persons (17.3% of the total population in private households) who were reported to be at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion according to the EU-definitions, meaning they were severely materially and socially deprived or at-risk-of-poverty because of their low household income or they lived in households with very low work intensity, or it was a combination of those three factors.

For more detailed information please refer to the German version.