European Journal of Ageing

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 285–292 | Cite as

Ageing and poverty: how older Portuguese adults became less poor in the noughties

  • Carlos Farinha RodriguesEmail author
  • Isabel Andrade
Original Investigation


The poverty rate amongst older Portuguese adults has decreased significantly in recent years as their incomes have increased and their levels of inequality and material deprivation have converged to the national average. This paper investigates whether this improved situation is homogeneous across this population group, but concludes that poverty pockets subsist. In particular, those aged 75+ and living alone record a poverty rate above 30 % in 2010, showing that this group is still subject to great economic and social vulnerability. An important feature of this income heterogeneity is the higher average income of the 65–74 age group versus the 75+ group. The evolution of both contributive and means-tested pensions has been a key element in the reduction of poverty amongst older people in Portugal and in improving their living standards. However, the austerity policies implemented post-2010 have made a strong impact on pensions and may reverse these positive developments.


Social policy Income distribution Inequality Poverty alleviation Portugal 

JEL Classification

D63 I32 I38 



The authors would like to thank three anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions. However, the usual disclaimer applies. We also acknowledge INE-Statistics Portugal for permission to use the Portuguese EU-SILC microdata (Protocol INE/MCES, process 413).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ISEG (Lisboa School of Economics and Management), CEMAPRE (Centre for Applied Mathematics and Economics)Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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