More than one in five people in Spain live below poverty line

Extremadura hardest hit region at 38 percent

The percentage of Spaniards living below the poverty line increased by a full percentage point last year from 2009 to 21.8 percent as the ongoing economic crisis left over a quarter of the population out of a job, according to a survey released Thursday by the National Statistics Institute.

The poverty line is defined as a two-child family with income under 15,820 euros a year. The average income of Spaniards last year fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier to 24,890 euros. In the case of a single adult the poverty threshold is 7,533 euros a year.

The number of people out of work rose by 370,100 last year to 4.6 million when the economy contracted 0.1 percent.

The region where most people live below the poverty line is Extremadura at 38 percent. The lowest rate was in Navarre at 7.3 percent.

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