Some 820,000 Colombians were lifted above the poverty line in 2013, the government statistics agency said Friday. The annual DANE report also showed a growing gap between rich and poor in the cities and a persistently higher poverty rate in the countryside.
According to the DANE index, 30.6% of the population, or 14.4 million people in Colombia, lived off less than in 2013.
The numbers showed that 556,000 people had been lifted out of extreme poverty, and showed that the level of this extreme poverty last year decreased from 10.4% of the total population to 9.1%.
Colombians living in poverty
A different kind of index was used to measure differences in poverty within the country. This index showed how poverty was mostly prevalent in the countryside where 42.8% of the population lived below the poverty line and 19.1% lived in extreme poverty, less than 3.7 percentage point less than in 2012.
Poverty was significantly lower in the country’s 13 largest cities where the poverty rate had dropped 1.4 percentage point to 18.9% of Colombia’s urban dwellers. Extreme poverty in the cities dropped 0.3 percentage point to 3%.
According to DANE, the lowest urban poverty rate was measured in the capital Bogota where 8.7% of the population lived in poverty and 1.6% lived in extreme poverty. The highest regional poverty rate was measured along the Pacific coast where 37.6% of the population lived in poverty.
Poverty in cities compared to countryside
Inequality up in cities, but significantly down in countryside
Countries’ most recent Gini indexes compared
Colombia’s Gini index, used to measure inequality in a country or region, stayed the nationally same at 0.539.
This coefficient did drop significantly in the countryside where the government last year was forced to execute major investments after massive protests to demand attention for the economic hardship of Colombia’s farmers.
The rural Gini index dropped from 0.465 to 0.446.
The opposite happened in the cities where the gap between the rich and poor widened slightly; the Gini coefficient for 2013 was 0.505 against 0.499 last year.
According to the World Bank’s most recent data, Colombia’s Gini coefficient stood at .559 in 2010. South American economic institute CEPAL said Colombia’s 2012 Gini coefficient was 0.536.
- Pobreza Monetaria y Multidimensional 2013 (PDF / DANE)