Poverty headcount down

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Poverty Headcount Index has dropped from 6.7 percent in 2012/2013 to 4.1 percent in 2016, the results of latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department indicated.

The survey, carried out every three years, is the main data source used to calculate poverty indices for Sri Lanka.

The survey results show that there has been a significant reduction in poverty during the last 14 years at the national level, but disparities in the level of poverty continue widely across provinces, districts and sectors.

According to the Survey report released to the media yesterday, 843,913 individuals were in poverty in 2016.

This is a 500,000 decline compared to 1.3 million in the previous survey year 2012/2013. The Official Poverty Line (poverty threshold) for 2016 is Rs.4,166.

The total poor households were 3.1 percent of the total households and it was approximately 169,392 households in 2016. According to the Department bulletin, highest poverty headcount index reported from Kilinochchi district and the lowest from Colombo district.

The highest number of poor people who were below the poverty line was reported in Kandy district and the lowest reported in Mannar district.

The estate and rural poverty are high as 8.8 percent and 4.3 percent respectively, where as the urban poverty stands at 1.9 percent.

In another bulletin on the survey results the Department observed that the mean monthly income of a household in Sri Lanka has increased to Rs.62,237 in 2016. Sector wise, the estimated mean household incomes for Urban, Rural and Estate sectors have been estimated as Rs.88, 692, Rs.58,137 and Rs.34, 804 respectively. According to the survey, the average monthly household expenditure in Sri Lanka during 2016 has been Rs.54,999 of which Rs.19,114 (34.8 percent) has been spent on food consumption while Rs.35,885 (65.2 percent) has been spent on non-food products and services.

“The household expenditure of 2016 has recorded an increase of 33 percent as against the household expenditure of 2012/13 (Rs.41, 444). Similarly, the monthly household food and non-food expenditures have increased by 22 percent (Rs.15, 651 in 2012/13 to Rs.19,114 in 2016) and 39 percent (Rs.25,793 in 2012/13 to Rs.35,885 in 2016) respectively,” the Department said.

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