Sunday 26 September 2021

Poverty in Costa Rica soared to 26%, the highest figure in the last decade

There are 83,000 more poor households than last year: 1,529,255 people in total

Paying the bills


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QCOSTARICA – While last year poverty affected around 20% of the population, this year, unemployment problems, lower income, and the general situation of the economic crisis that the country is going through, raised poverty levels to 26%.

The data released this Thursday by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC) indicate that with that increase of five percentage points there are now a total of 419,783 poor households in the country, a total of 83,888 more than last year.

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The figure is one of the highest ever.

In the last decade, the highest, exceeding 22.4%, was in 2014.

According to the report, extreme poverty is 7.0%, an increase of 1.2 percentage points.

This represents 19,445 more households in extreme poverty, for a total of 112,987.

In terms of people, the incidence of poverty is 30%, which means the number of poor in 2020 is 1,529,255 people, this is equivalent to an increase of 6.1 percentage points compared to 2019; that is, there are 321,874 more people living in poverty this year over last.

This significant increase in the poverty line was accompanied by a sharp contraction in people’s income levels.

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According to Statistics and Census, the average income of people fell by at least 12.2% in the last year.

The average income per household is ¢891,934 per month, which represents a variation of -12.2% compared to the previous year when it stood at ¢1,016,358.

In per capita terms, average income is estimated at ¢326,483 per month, which represents a decrease of 13.2% compared to the 2019 estimate.

To a large extent, this worsening in people’s conditions is due to the increase in unemployment, which for August was estimated at almost 24%, as well as underemployment, which affects at least two out of every ten people.

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