Portugal holds the largest socio-economic inequality gap among 20 developed countries according to a study by US-based bank Morgan Stanley, released Tuesday. With a population of nearly 10 million, Portugal remains Western Europe’s poorest country.
The report ranked the inequality gap in Portugal using several socio-economic indicators, ranging from distribution of income, access to health services and gender inequality.
Portugal, which ranks fourth in the Gini index (the indicator that measures world income inequality), ranks first in the inequality indicator reported by Morgan Stanley, exceeding the United States and many countries in southern Europe, namely Italy (second place), followed by Greece and Spain.
Countries with lower levels of socio-economic inequality indicators are the northern European countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland.
Currently, Portugal accounts for less than 2% of the Eurozone GDP, holding the highest combined debt burden in the Eurozone.
Minimum wages in Portugal have remained unchanged at 589.17 EUR/Month in December from 589.17 EUR/Month in June of 2015. Minimum Wages in Portugal averaged 479.52 EUR/Month from 1999 until 2015, reaching an all-time high of 589.17 EUR/Month in June of 2015 and a record low of 356.72 EUR/Month in December of 1999. Minimum Wages in Portugal is reported by the Eurostat. (Source)
Since 2011, with unemployment currently at 12%, almost a half million people have emigrated from Portugal in search of work in Europe, Brazil, and the Portuguese-speaking former African colonies.
Recently, the Bank of Portugal, Portugal’s central bank, has projected that economic growth rate will reach around 1.6 percent in the coming year, less than the 2.5 to 3 percent minimal requirement to prevent Portugal’s fragile recovery from stalling.
Read the full Morgan Stanley report here.