Press Release 01/06/2015


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The living conditions of the Basque people have deteriorated due to the economic crisis

41% of families claim to have had some kind of financial restriction in the last three years

In 2014, 40.9% of families say they have had some kind of financial restriction in the last three years, up 16 percentage points on 2009. However, this is below the highest level in the series which was reached in 1994 (47%), according to data prepared by Eustat. The restrictions were fundamentally in leisure, clothing and footwear, though it should be pointed out that almost 14% have suffered food restrictions


The relationship with the activity of the reference person of the family partly explains this situation, since 69% of families whose reference person was unemployed suffered restrictions, 12 points more than in 2009.

Furthermore, four out of ten families face hardship before payday, and more than half (56%) believe their financial situation has worsened in the last 3 years.

Relationships between family and friends have strengthened

Family relationships in the Basque Country are very close since 96% of families have some kind of relationship with close relatives – parents and children – that no longer live together. Furthermore, relationships with other relatives have strengthened, although not to the same extent, since only 5% do not have any kind of relationship with them.

Relationships with friends have been maintained – only 6% of families do not have friends or do not keep in contact with them – whereas relationships with neighbours continue to decline gradually, with 16 not having any kind of relationship.

The physical environment of Basque families is still good, but the social environment has worsened compared to 2009

The majority of families (65%) believe that they live in a "healthy" physical environment, a proportional identical to 2009, but the social environment has deteriorated, given in 2014 59% believed it was very healthy, 5 percentage points below that of 2009.

19% of families perceive public safety issues (robberies and assaults), the same figure as in 2009, and an increase in begging (6 percentage points more), alcoholism (4 percentage points more) and delinquency (3 points more). On the other hand, the number of thefts from cars and cars stolen fell by 2 percentage points and half a point, respectively.

16.6% of homes have little household equipment

Household equipment (mainly domestic appliances) is present in the vast majority of homes in the Basque Country, but 16.6% claim to have little equipment of this type, a proportion that has increased compared to 2009 by six percentage points. By contrast, almost 100% of families have audiovisual equipment in the home, and 41% have a lot.

Individual gas heating systems have seen a period of growth, being used in 65% of Basque homes, 1.5 points more than in 2009. There are still, however, 22,000 families (2.5%) that have no heating whatsoever, a figure that has increased by one percentage point compared to 2009.

With regards to environmental facilities, more than 90% of families have many services within a 10-minute walk from their home, such as supermarkets, butchers, fishmongers, nurseries and pharmacies, while they can access many more, such as restaurants, outpatient clinics, libraries, taxi ranks, cinemas or theatres, just by travelling for a further 10 minutes.

The split working day decreases among study centres

Morning and afternoon class timetables is declining among students. 64% of students have a split working day, whereas in 2009 it was 69%. However, the proportion of students who have lunch at home remained stable at 59%.

The most common mode of transport for going to centres of studies is on foot (47.3%), followed by car (16.2%), although the usage of the latter mode of transport increased by 3.3 percentage points compared to 2009 and by 11 points compared to 1989.

The proportion of dependent persons remained the same

In the last 25 years the percentage of individuals with difficulties in carrying out daily activities due to health problems varied between 9.2% in 1989 and 8% in 2014. The latter figure is very similar to that of 2009. Álava had the lowest proportion (6.8%), followed by Bizkaia with 8.1% and Gipuzkoa with 8.3%.

The percentage of individuals who visited the doctor increased slightly (78% compared to 76% in 2009), with an increase in visits to specialist doctors, who attended to 51% of the population (3 points more than in 2009), whereas consultations of general practitioners remained stable at around 87%.

Over a quarter of the population belongs to some kind of association

Sports associations have around 225,000 members, despite a decrease of 35,000 since 2009. 150,000 members are male, just over double the 73,000 women who participate in these activities.

Males also exceed the rate of participation of women in political, professional and environmental organisations and trade unions, as well as in neighbourhood associations.

Women, for their part, account for the majority of people in social welfare organisations (39,000 women compared to almost 30,000 men), religious confessions and development cooperation, education and human rights organisations.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Instituto Vasco de Estadística C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: Tel: 945 01 75 62 Further press releases on Survey of living conditions in the Basque Country Databank on Survey of living conditions in the Basque Country

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The living conditions of the Basque people have deteriorated due to the economic crisis

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