Thursday, October 11, 2012

Poverty statistics for El Salvador

This is the second in a series of posts about the statistical view of El Salvador in the recently released 2011 Multiple Purpose Survey of Households.

One of the key statistics in the survey is the calculation of the percentage of households living in poverty.   The survey calculates two poverty rates -- the number of people living in "extreme" poverty, and the number of people living in "relative" poverty.   Both rates are defined in terms of the "Canasta Básica Alimentaria"  or Basic Food Basket (the "CBA").   The government calculates the cost to buy this basic basket of food and then defines extreme poverty as those households which earn less per month than the monthly cost of the CBA.   Relative poverty represents those households who earn less than twice the CBA.

You can see what goes into the basic food basket at this link.

In addition to calculating relative and extreme poverty rates, the government also calculates separate CBAs for urban and rural areas to reflect different food costs in the different areas.   In 2011, the CBA for urban households was $182.60 per month for an average household of 3.72 members, or $1.64 per person per day.   For rural households, the CBA was $143.90 per month for an average household of 4.24 members, or $1.13 per person per day.

In 2011, the poverty rates were:

Urban areas:  35.4%
8.9% in extreme poverty, less than $1.64 per person per day
26.5% in relative poverty, less than $3.28 per person per day

Rural areas:  50.2%
18.4% in extreme poverty, less than $1.13 per person per day
31.7% in relative poverty, less than $2.26  per person per day

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