Colombia’s poverty rate
Poverty in Colombia increased in 2019 and is expected to have surge during the coronavirus pandemic, according to statistics agency DANE.
This surge in poverty is projected to be the highest this century. Because the DANE used different different variables to measure poverty, no consistent rates are available from before 2012, however.
Lowering poverty and income inequality in Colombia are most visibly urgent when looking at the country’s undernourishment rate.
While undernourishment levels were dropping, an growing number of Colombians, particularly women, said they had trouble putting food on the table, according to pollster Gallup.
Preliminary information on unemployment indicates that the disparity between men and women suffering food deficiencies is likely to have increased further.
The pollster found a similar trend when it comes to finding adequate housing. Also here, this disparity is expected to have grown in 2020.
Colombia’s extreme income inequality increased in 2018 after a decade of gradual decrease. The top 10% of the country’s earners received almost 40% of the country’s income, which is 10 times what the bottom 20% earned, according to the World Bank.
The extreme disparity in wealth between the country’s elite and the 346 toddlers who died of malnutrition in 2018 has been difficult to combat. The country’s 2019 GINI coefficient increased for a second consecutive year to 5.26.
Urban vs. rural Colombia
Poverty in Colombia’s countryside has traditionally been considerably higher than in the cities and has grown significantly during the Duque administration.
Regional poverty distribution
Choco continued to be Colombia’s poorest province with a poverty rate of 68.4% in 2019. Almost 39% of the people in the largely Afrocolombian province were living in extreme poverty. Peripheral provinces with a relatively large indigenous population like La Guajira and Cauca also saw extraordinarily high levels of poverty.
The poverty rate in the capital Bogota and Colombia’s five biggest provincial capitals is historically considerably lower than on the countryside.
With the exception of Cartagena, poverty in all major cities rose in 2019 and is expected to have surged during the coronavirus crisis more than in rural regions where agriculture was able to provide labor stability.
Poverty rates in Colombia’s biggest cities
Poverty and communities’ lack of access to health care was blamed for a large number of the infant deaths. According to the World Bank, more than 12 of every thousand babies died before their first birthday.
Infant mortality rate
The regions most affected by high child mortality are historically neglected regions on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, the eastern plains and the Amazon jungle.