"The gap between rich and poor is widening in Spain", reports El País, which points out that economic inequality has reached "a record high" since 1995, when it began to be measured by European statistics. Adding that the "change has led to Spain lagging behind the European Union", the daily notes that the most recent data compiled by Eurostat in 2009 show that only Latvia, Romania and Lithuania are worse off in this regard. "Economic blight" in Spain, which has close to 5 million unemployed (21.5% of the working population), wage reductions and an end to a number of state benefits have caused the gap to grow in the course of the crisis, continues the daily, which highlights an "abrupt worsening of the situation in 2010".
The inequality of income distribution, as measured by the s80/s20 ratio which takes into account the richest 20% and the poorest 20% of the population, now stands at 6.9 in Spain, as opposed to 4.5 in Germany. In 2009, the EU average for this figure was 4.9.