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One third of large families live on less than 2,000 euros and 7 out of 10 find it hard to make ends meet

According to a study by the Spanish Federation of Large Families on households with 3 or more children, based on more than 1,800 surveys throughout Spain, of which 331 are families associated with any of the five associations integrated to FANUCOVA (ASAFAN, FANUCAS, ASFANA, AVAFAM and MAS DOS).

Having 3 or more children and an income that does not exceed 2,000 euros means having difficulty making ends meet or having to cut back on expenses in order to do so. This is revealed by the Study of Large Families in Spain, prepared by the Spanish Federation of Large Families (FEFN), with surveys of more than 1,800 large families from different parts of Spain, which shows that a large majority of large families are forced to make numbers and "pull" their own savings or those of others, in order to cover all their needs.

Specifically, according to the study, carried out with the support of the Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, the problems of making ends meet affect 7 out of 10 large families, 73%, including those who directly state that they "have difficulty making ends meet" (31.7%), those who have to reduce their budget, cutting back here and there, which account for 24.5%, those who have to resort to savings or even take out a loan, 12.2%, and a small group of families who have a cushion to cover expenses: the help of a relative (4%) or an NGO (0.7%).

The situation has to do with the level of income of these households, made up of an average of 5 people and in which most of them earn two salaries (66%). The range in which most families move is that of income between 2,500 and 3,500 euros, received by 22.6% of the families, followed by that of between 2,000 and 2,500 euros, which 17% of these households have. In contrast, almost a third of the families, 29.9%, live on less than 2,000 euros per month, an amount with which they must cover the basic expenses of food, hygiene, clothing, education, health, transport, etc., plus housing and basic supplies such as electricity, gas, water, etc. Precisely on this chapter, given the continuous rise in prices that these goods have experienced, families ask for discounts on these basic supplies, considering that this measure would be the second most important for their household behind increasing the amount of child allowances.

Child support supplement

With regard to this type of child allowance, only 13.4% of those surveyed are benefiting from the new child supplement, and of those who receive it, almost half were already receiving the old child allowance. Of those who have not received this "child-rearing income", 32.5% say that it was because they exceeded the income threshold, another 32% say they are not familiar with this allowance and 15.6% admit not having asked for it.

The majority of families consider this measure to be "very" or "quite" useful (47.8%), although 42.4% value this assistance "little". There is greater unity of criteria when it comes to considering how to improve the supplement: 63.5% of large families consider that the income and wealth threshold should be increased, and 22.8% ask for the procedure to be simplified to make it easier to access the aid.

Financial issues and children

The economic aspect is undeniably linked to children, a decision in which many factors are involved, but money is a major conditioning factor. According to the survey, more than half of large families, 51.9% say they would have liked to have more children and 42.4% say they have not done so for economic reasons, 24.3% point to "other reasons" unspecified and 13.5% for issues of reconciliation.

Large families feel a bit like "oddballs" in society, which they believe looks at them with surprise and without understanding them for having so many children. This is stated by 73.5% of the families, only 5.8% believe that others are envious of their family situation, "more fun and rewarding" and in between there is a percentage of families who "do not know" (14%) or believe that society perceives them "with disdain for having a large family" (6.7%).

"Sharing and solidarity"

Regardless of what others think, large families are clear about the advantages, the positive values that emanate from this type of household. In the case of their children, 47.4% believe that the most important thing is that it helps them to develop the ability to share, 29.5% emphasize "mutual care" and 27.1% consider that being a large family helps them when it comes to "helping others".

Employment: salary and job stability

The study, based on more than 1,800 surveys of families throughout Spain, provides information on many other aspects of the lives of large families, such as employment and work-life balance. The latter is still a very important issue for these households, but has perhaps slipped down the scale of issues of highest value around employment: today, salary and job stability are the priority (both 4.2 out of 6) followed by work-life balance (3.8) and child support measures (3.2).

However, this assessment changes depending on whether men or women respond, since the latter, mothers of large families, do consider work-life balance to be important and place it ahead of salary. Thus, for women, the two most important issues in a job are stability (28.3%) and being able to combine work and family (24.6%), while salary is in third place (20.9%). In the case of fathers, they prioritize stability (32.3%) and salary (30.2%), leaving work-life balance in third place (12.9%).

What are large families like?

The study, which is prepared every year by the FEFN, also collects data on the economic and social profile of these families with the idea of elaborating the radiography of the group to better understand their reality and needs. The objective of the Federation of Large Families is "to know what these households are like, how they live and what difficulties they have in their daily lives, because this way we can know what measures it would be necessary to promote and we can focus the work we do with the public administrations towards them", explains the president of the FEFN, José Manuel Trigo, who emphasizes that "it is very important to know these households well because they often have a distorted image of reality, for example in economic matters, which we can already see that they are not as we think they are. Large families are not rich and do not live in mansions. This study helps us to get to know them and thus to understand the demands we make".

Number of children. The study reveals that a large majority of large families (66%) have 3 children, and these are of school age, since the average age of the oldest child is 15 years old. They are followed in size by families with 4 children (16.1%) and 2 children (7.6%). Larger families are in the minority, those with 6 or more children account for only 4.8% of the total number of families.

Reconstituted and single-parent families. Regarding family composition, there are 11.4% of large reconstituted families, those who bring children from previous relationships, and 6.5% who are single-parent families. 1.6% of respondents are widows or widowers and 1.3% are foster families.

Multiple births. As for multiple births, this circumstance is very present: 16.8% have had a multiple birth, 15.9% being twins or twins and 0.9% triplets or more. Disability is also very present in large families, specifically in 20.7% of these households: in 67.5% of the cases by one child, in 24.5% by one of the parents and in 7.7% by parents and children.

Immigrants. In addition, 6.4% of large families are made up of immigrants, most of whom come from South America, with 2.8%, compared to 1.9% from Europe and 1.7% from other parts of the world, and are citizens settled in Spain, where they have been living for an average of 13 years.

Education and employment. The fathers and mothers of large families mostly have a university education (56.2%) and only 8.7% have a primary education. 41.6% work in the private sector and 25.8% in the public sector and 9.7% are self-employed. Another 9% of fathers and mothers of large families are unemployed and 10.4% are engaged in unpaid domestic work.

Housing. In terms of housing, the majority of large families live in houses of 75 to 100 m2 (33%) and between 100 and 150m2 (32%), and the majority are paying a mortgage (59%).



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