STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
FOUR out of every 10 families living in Spain claim that they have to struggle to get to the end of the month.
The net annual income for Spanish homes last year averaged out at 23'442 euros, some 4.6 percent higher than it had been 12 months prior. But according to a study released yesterday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) entitled “Research into Life Conditions” even this is not enough to prevent 40 percent of homes across Spain claiming that they have to struggle financially to reach the end of the month.

Every home in the country has to set aside an average of 221 euros a month for costs of maintaining the principal household, a commitment which leaves 20 percent of those interviewed living below the poverty line.

The average net annual income of Spanish households is more than 23'000 euros a year which means that the average income per person stands at 8'403 euros, some 6 percent more than that registered the previous year. Family variations are determined by the number of people which go to make up the family. So, the average income per person of households where only one person is living stands at 11'439 euros per year while in the case of families made up of one adult and at least one dependent child, the income goes down to just a little more than 6'000 euros.

According to the report from the Institute of Statistics, education levels have a significant impact on home income. Households whose main bread winner had professional qualifications can expect a total income of 33'712 net during 2006; but this quantity falls to 17'648 euros where key earners of a household only had basic or primary education.

Analysing the report by region, Navarre and Madrid were those which had the highest average income per household last year, with 29'845 and 27'718 respectively. Next down the list is Catalonia (26'461 euros) and the Balearic Islands (26'430). At the other end of the scale, the regions with the lowest average income level per household were Extremadura (17'910 euros), Andalucia (20'268 euros), Castilla-La Mancha (20'470 euros) and Castilla y Leon (20'745 euros). In spite of this seemingly high level of earnings, what is certain is that many Spaniards have difficulty in getting through financially until the end of the month. According to the criteria used in the INE report, 20 percent of people living in Spain are technically existing below the poverty line - more women than men fall into this bracket. Groups most affected by this level of poverty are the over 65's (30.6%);under 16's (23.8%). The least affected age group - in both male and female cases is the 25 to 49 with rates of 14.7 and 16.3 percent respectively.

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