Statistics Explained

Glossary:Severe material and social deprivation rate (SMSD)

This is the stable Version.

The severe material and social deprivation rate (SMSD) is an EU-SILC indicator that shows an enforced lack of necessary and desirable items to lead an adequate life. The indicator, adopted by the Indicators' Sub-Group (ISG) of the Social Protection Committee (SPC), distinguishes between individuals who cannot afford a certain good, service or social activities. It is defined as the proportion of the population experiencing an enforced lack of at least 7 out of 13 deprivation items (6 related to the individual and 7 related to the household).

List of items at household level:

  • Capacity to face unexpected expenses
  • Capacity to afford paying for one week annual holiday away from home
  • Capacity to being confronted with payment arrears (on mortgage or rental payments, utility bills, hire purchase instalments or other loan payments)
  • Capacity to afford a meal with meat, chicken, fish or vegetarian equivalent every second day
  • Ability to keep home adequately
  • Have access to a car/van for personal use
  • Replacing worn-out furniture

List of items at individual level:

  • Having internet connection
  • Replacing worn-out clothes by some new ones
  • Having two pairs of properly fitting shoes (including a pair of all-weather shoes)
  • Spending a small amount of money each week on him/herself
  • Having regular leisure activities
  • Getting together with friends/family for a drink/meal at least once a month

The SMSD indicator is part of the at risk of poverty or social exclusion rate defined in the framework of the EU 2030 target on poverty and social exclusion.


Children material deprivation

Seven out of the 13 deprivation items included in the new indicator collected at the household level and apply equally to all household members. The remaining six items are only collected for people aged 16 or over and have therefore to be estimated for children below 16. The rule applied for this estimation is the following: “if at least half the number of adults for which the information is available in the household lack an item, then the children living in that household are considered as deprived from that item”. The same set of 13 items and the same threshold is used for both children and adults. However, when computing deprivation with regards to children, a lower weight is given to adult items, in order to avoid making the indicator of children too sensitive to adult deprivations; among the deprivations required to be considered as deprived, at least three need to be household deprivations (out of the seven household deprivations items included in the list). Hence, when the 13-item indicator is broken down for children, it provides information on the proportion of children living in a “deprivation context”. It should be clearly mentioned that these children live in (socially and materially) deprived households. This information will be available annually.


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