Compared with March when Portugal’s health crisis began last year (that is, when the country entered general confinement for the first time), the population at the end of April increased by 18,000 compared with March last year.
The social security data released last week showed that from March last year to April this year, 17,963 people began to receive social insertion income (RSI), an increase of 9%.
As of the end of April, a total of 217,892 people had benefited from this benefit. According to Dinheiro Vivo’s calculations, this benefit lasts for up to three years. Since September 2018, there have not been many beneficiaries receiving RSI. This reduction continued until last year, when the pandemic forced the country’s total lock-up period in the second half of March to last until early May.
During this period, until July, the continued growth corresponding to the country’s general months of confinement, the closure of some activities, such as restaurants, hotels, and businesses, resulted in loss of income for families and companies. The largest monthly increase occurred from May to June last year. In just one month, more than 3832 people began to receive this social benefit, an increase of 2%. In the next few months, there was little volatility, but since December, it has been adding more beneficiaries.
The number of households covered by this benefit has also risen to a value that has not been registered since mid-2018. According to social security data, as of the end of April, 102,207 families had obtained RSI, an increase of 8.8% over the previous year. In March last year, nearly 94,000 households were covered.
On a monthly basis, the number of beneficiaries continued to increase in April, but the growth rate was slightly lower than the first few months of this year. Compared with March, there was an increase of 1% in April, which corresponds to more beneficiaries in 2007, which may be related to the country’s deflation. Deflation is already in the third stage of economic reopening, and the fourth and last one begins with the third. May in most of the African continent.
In April, the average monthly amount per beneficiary was 119.38 Euros, an increase of 2.4% over March last year, which is equivalent to an increase of 2.75 Euros. The average value of each household is 262.12 Euros, an increase of 1% from March 2020.
As mentioned earlier, the largest monthly increase in the number of RSI beneficiaries coincides with the restrictions on liquidity or greater restrictions imposed on Portuguese when many activities such as restaurants, shops and hotels are closed. According to calculations by Dinheiro Vivo, this can explain more than 50% of the growth in the Faro region.
Leiria District (Leiria) is the area with the largest number of new additions, but it lags far behind the Leiria District, with an increase of 35%, or 1,155 people. Lisbon ended the podium in April this year, an increase of 19% compared to March 2020, which is equivalent to an increase of 6,878 people.
Opposite the table is the Aveiro region, which has decreased by 2.8% (-132 people), and the Autonomous Region of Azores (-2.7%, has decreased by 447 beneficiaries).
As far as households are concerned, the geographical distribution of the year-on-year changes follows the geographical distribution of the number of beneficiaries. In the Faro region, compared with March last year, 1354 families received such social benefits in April, an increase of 52%. This is followed by Leiria District (33%), followed by Lisbon District (18%).
A more refined analysis of the data released by the Social Security Administration can also characterize the beneficiaries of the RSI. In April, 58% of the beneficiaries were under 40, which is equivalent to nearly 126,000 people.
Dinheiro Vivo’s calculations show that more than half of these people are women, and the age groups that have grown the most are 20 to 24 years old and 30 to 34 years old.
However, if young people are the majority of the beneficiaries of the lowest income, this increase is manifested in the elderly regardless of men and women. In the first case, compared with March 2020, the rate of increase for women in the age group of 65 years and over is 20%, and that of men in the age group of 17 and over has increased by 17%.