A report into the social impacts of Covid in the Balearics by researchers at the University of the Balearic Islands has concluded that 320,000 people are in poverty and 34,000 of them are in severe poverty. This latter figure has more or less doubled since last year.
The report's findings are based on a study between May and October. Maria Antònia Carbonero, a professor at the philosophy and social work faculty, said on Monday that the pandemic has increased the number of people living in poverty, with aid such as the minimum living income and the guaranteed social income reaching only half of this population.
She added that although the risk-of-poverty rate is lower in the Balearics than in other regions, the percentage of risk of exclusion is among the highest in the country. It is 21.5% and is due to the precariousness and difficulties associated with housing. Carbonero warned that the situation will worsen during the winter because there are insufficient resources to provide cover for these people. Despite the rapid response by authorities, they have been "overwhelmed".
The report indicates that the economic structure of the Balearics, based on tourism, precarious work and social inequalities, such as access to housing, was already a major problem prior to the pandemic. The effects of the pandemic have varied according to income and social class, with the incidence having been influenced by factors such as housing conditions and difficulties with being able to work from home.
Income differences are highlighted by the report, e.g. an average 85,000 euros per household in Palma's Genova and Son Vida against 15,000 in Camp Redó. Six census sections show that 40% of the population have incomes that are 60% below the national average income. Populations with the lowest income levels are more likely to be infected by the virus.