There are significant demographic differences between Icelanders and foreigners who seek seek help from charitable assistance organisations.
RÚV reports that experts at the Office of Social Sciences have taken a closer look at data gathered by the Ministry of Welfare on food banks from last November, and noticed the marked difference in demographics between the two nationalities.
About half of those who seek food from food banks are Polish. Among Icelanders, about 65% are women, while among Poles the percentages between genders are almost completely reversed. Most Poles who sought food, or 91%, were completely unemployed. The majority of Icelanders (55%), by contrast, were disabled, while this group comprised a very small percentage of foreigners.
The Poles accepting food are also better educated than Icelanders, with 84% of them having completed secondary school, as opposed to only 30% of Icelanders in the same group.
However, Poles earn much less – two out of three were living on less than 150,000 ISK per month, compared to about a third of Icelanders in the same income bracket. At the same time, Poles were more likely than Icelanders to be on rent assistance, as far more of them were living in rental properties than Icelanders, who for the most part had bought their apartments.