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The poverty of being single

Oh mother of God. And pardon the pun with the use of the word mother. Or is it irony? Whatever. Just as last month we wondering if poverty was the new property, this month we were hit with the statistic that single and childless people are more likely to be poor. Yep. Single people without children are over three times more likely than the rest of the population to experience persistent poverty, according to a new report. Households headed by a single adult, with or without children, are more exposed to poverty risks than people living in couples, but the probability of persistent poverty for singles without children is even higher, according to the report, ‘Growing Unequal? Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries’.
Furthermore, it discovered that persistent poverty is ‘much more widespread’ in Ireland than in other developed countries and is on a par with the US and that general poverty rates are above average in Ireland when compared to other states. Across all OECD countries, single-adult households with and without children were more exposed to poverty risks than people living in couples, especially when considering the risk of having long periods with low income. On average, single adults with children faced a risk of persistent poverty that was twice as high as for the whole population.
But, BUT, the probability of persistent poverty for singletons without children was even higher, being on average three times larger than for the entire population, ‘and much more in Ireland’.
How could this be? You’re single and childless – something that society could sneer at on a good day – and then you end up getting slapped with the fact that, on top of this, you’re more likely to be poor? Why? Sure you’re not spending your cash on you husband/wife or brood. You only have yourself to support. How, WHY would this happen? Maybe it’s all back to the bloody recession. Maybe poverty is the new property. And the new poverty is being single.


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