Comparison of social assistance and poverty statistics – Similar risk groups, but differences in evolution over time

Neuchâtel, 07.04.2009 - (FSO) - The social assistance and poverty statistics provide comprehensive information on the number and composition of households in financial difficulty. Both statistics deal with similar, but not identical social phenomena. The groups at risk are similar, but the level and extent of the difficulties are different. During the period under consideration (1990-2006), a trend towards an increase in the number of social assistance recipients can be observed, whereas the poverty rate is subject to fluctuations. Both social assistance and poverty rates are directly dependent on the unemployment situation and ? with a time lag ? ultimately on economic development. These are the findings from an in-depth analysis of data from the social assistance and poverty statistics, carried out by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

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