The percentage of poor households in Costa Rica has remained at 20% for the past 10 years, according to new data from the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC) – National Institute of Statistics and Census.
Today, the INEC presented the Encuesta Nacional de Hogares 2013 (National Household Survey 2013), in which it identifies about 285.467 households living in poverty. This represents 20.7% of the population, an indicator that remains virtually unchanged from last year’s 20.6%.
The survey shows that 6.4% of the households live in extreme poverty, a figure similar to that of 2012, at 6.3%.
INEC manager, Floribel Méndez, explained that, in her opinion, the biggest factor is still the educational level of Costa Ricans. She said that while the labour market becomes more demanding, the educational level of the population is not enough to access that market.
The survey also shows that households living in poverty have a dependency ratio of 2.21, which means that for more than two persons are dependent on every person in the household who is part of the labour force.
The survey took in the responses of 13.355 households visited throughout the country during the month of July.
The poverty line used for this year’s measure was ¢100.943 colones (US$203) per person in urban areas and ¢77.401 (US$156) in rural areas. The line is the cost to cover basic needs and households with incomes less than that are classified as poor.
The survey also indicates that among the characteristics of poor households are: larger families, with more children and elderly, have more difficulty accessing the labour force and a higher percentage of female-headed households.