Vlada republike SrbijeGovernment of the Republic of Serbia

Jezici

Material Deprivation

Material deprivation and financial poverty are concepts designed to indicate various aspects of individuals’ and households’ living conditions. While financial poverty (income poverty) concerns the lack of funds required for individuals to satisfy their needs (considered to be essential in the society in which they live), material deprivation pertains to the actual status attained by individuals (the ability to obtain the goods and services considered necessary for a high-quality life).

Within the concept of deprivation, vulnerability is analysed using outcome-based non-monetary indicators. While income-based financial poverty assesses the potential of an individual to satisfy all their needs, the concept of material deprivation provides for an analysis of the effective standard of living[1].

Material deprivation may, thus, be viewed as a consequence of poverty.

One is materially deprived if one cannot afford at least three out of nine specified items, severely materially deprived if one cannot afford at least four items, and extremely materially deprived if one cannot afford five or more items.

The rate of material deprivation is defined as the share of the population under material deprivation in the total population. Severe material deprivation rate and extreme material deprivation rate are defined by analogy.

Intensity of material deprivation represents the mean number of items that the materially deprived portion of the population cannot afford.

Material deprivation (MD) is assessed depending on whether an individual is living in a household that can afford items from the following list:

  1. Adequate heating of a dwelling;
  2. Settling an unexpected expense to the amount of RSD 10,000.00;
  3. Meal of meat or fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every other day;
  4. A one-week annual holiday outside the home;
  5. Regular payment of rent, instalments for a home loan or other loan, or municipal services for the home;
  6. Colour TV;
  7. Washing machine;
  8. Car, and
  9. Telephone.

The rate of material deprivation in the Republic of Serbia in 2016 was 37.4%, while the rate of severe material deprivation was 19.5%. The share of those that cannot afford more than 5 items is also very high – 9.6%. The material deprivation rate in the EU was 15.7%, the rate of severe material deprivation 7.5%, and extreme 3%.

The Republic of Serbia is at the very top of the EU 28 countries with the highest values of these indicators. Values below these are registered only by Bulgaria, Romania and Greece.

The intensity of material deprivation, i.e. the average number of items that cannot be afforded by a materially deprived individual in the Republic of Serbia in 2016 is 4, and is slightly above the average value for the EU (3.8). A small number of EU countries registers intensities of material deprivation at or above 4 items (Latvia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria).

Rate of material deprivation, severe and extreme material deprivation, 2013-2016

Rates 2013. 2014. 2015. 2016.
Material deprivation 44.3 44.1 40.9 37.4
Severe MD 26.9 26.3 24.0 19.5
Extreme MD 14.2 13.1 11.8 9.6
Source: Eurostat database Table Material deprivation rate for the ‘Economic strain’ and ‘Durables’ dimensions, by number of items of deprivation

The economic dimension of material deprivation (the first five items on the list) are more significant for explaining vulnerability than the inability to afford certain durable consumer goods that, other than a car, can be afforded by nearly all households in the Republic of Serbia. Judging by the data below, most individuals live in households that cannot afford going on vacation (62.8%), but it is concerning that a significant share of individuals live in households that cannot afford basic needs, such as adequate heating of the dwelling (13.3%) or adequate nutrition (20.3%).

A trend of decreasing vulnerability on all points is noted through the years.

Selected indicators of the economic dimension of material deprivation in the Republic of Serbia, 2013-2016

A household that cannot afford: 2013. 2014. 2015. 2016.
Adequate heating of a dwelling 18.3 17.1 15.2 13.3
A one-week annual holiday outside the home 67.2 68.4 68.5 62.8
Meal with meat or fish (or vegetarian equivalent) every other day 30.6 26.1 24.6 20.3
Unexpected expense 50.1 50.7 47.3 48.3
Debts and delays 39.0 43.5 37.8 36.7
Source: Eurostat database Tables Economic strain

The profile of severe material deprivation shown below indicates the following:

  • There are no statistically significant differences in the rate of severe material deprivation by gender, explained by cohabitation in households where both sexes are most frequently present.
  • Age-based differences are not high, but are notable – children are less vulnerable, while those older than 65 are more vulnerable than the average. In this regard the vulnerability profile differs from the profile of both absolute and relative poverty.
  • Regarding the type of household, single-person households, single parents and families with two adults and three or more dependent children are at the highest risk of severe material deprivation. Overall, households without children are more vulnerable than those with children.
  • Among individuals in the poorest income quintile in 2016 as many as 41.8% cannot afford 4 or more items, while in the richest income quintile this share is merely 3%. As expected, higher income means being able to afford more items.
  • Regarding the most frequent status in the labour market, unemployed persons are the most vulnerable. Unlike the relative poverty profile, the vulnerability of employed and self-employed persons is the same, while pensioners are in a worse position than both of those categories.
  • During the observed period, the rate of severe material deprivation has been decreasing for all individuals, regardless of their labour market status.

 

Rate of severe material deprivation by population characteristics in the Republic of Serbia, 2013-2016 (%)

2013. 2014. 2015. 2016.
Total 26.9 26.3 24.0 19.5
Male 26.8 26.5 24.0 19.3
Female 27.0 26.1 24.0 19.7
Age
Children (<18) 27.4 24.4 22.0 17.6
Adults 18-64 26.7 26.6 24.0 19.7
65 and over 26.9 27.1 25.9 20.9
Household type
Single-member household 37.2 38.7 40.8 29.6
One adult person with dependent children 44.9 43.8 42.6 30.2
Two adult persons with one dependent child 26.7 22.9 18.9 16.7
Two adult persons, 2 children 20.3 19.1 15.6 9.3
Two adult persons, 3 or more children 36.1 26.8 28.0 28.0
Households without dependent children 28.2 30.0 27.9 22.9
Households with dependent children 25.9 23.4 21.0 16.9
Income quintiles
I 53.3 50.3 48.2 41.8
II 37.4 35.7 35.2 28.5
III 23.7 25.3 21.4 16.2
IV 14.2 14.4 10.9 8.3
V 5.8 5.9 4.3 3.0
Most frequent status in the labour market (18 and above)
Employed with an employer 18.0 17.0 14.6 11.1
Self-employed 20.9 18.7 13.7 11.1
Unemployed 44.7 42.0 37.2 33.1
Pensioners 25.1 25.7 24.7 19.4
Other inactive 30.4 30.1 28.8 21.8
Source: Eurostat database Table Severe material deprivation rate by income quintile and household type; Severe material deprivation rate by most frequent activity status (population aged 18 and over)

For more information on material deprivation, see:

—————

[1]For more on the concept of material deprivation see: Matković, G., Mijatović, B., & Krstić, G. (2015). Prihodi i uslovi života 2013. Beograd: Republički zavod za statistiku.

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Documents

Third National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction in the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2014–2017
February, 2019 arrow right pdf [5 MB]
National Employment Action Plan for the Year 2019
February, 2019 arrow right pdf [732 KB]
Gender Equality Index for the Republic of Serbia
December, 2018 arrow right pdf [7 MB]
Assessment of Absolute Poverty in Serbia in 2017
October, 2018 arrow right pdf [226 KB]
Periodic evaluation of the local youth employment initiative programmes
October, 2018 arrow right pdf [486 KB]
Monitoring Social Inclusion in Republic of Serbia – Third Revised Edition
November, 2017 arrow right pdf [2 MB]
Poverty in the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2006–2016 – Revised and New Data
September, 2017 arrow right pdf [906 KB]
Mapping Social Care Service within the Mandate of Local Governments in the Republic of Serbia (2015) – Report
May, 2017 arrow right pdf [4 MB] arrow right docx [2 MB]