Zhemgang has highest poverty rate according to Poverty Analysis Report


Zhemgang has the highest poverty rate in the country with more than 41 per cent of its people below the poverty line. Meanwhile, Thimphu has the lowest poverty rate at less than 2 per cent. This is according to the latest Poverty Analysis Report the National Statistics Bureau released. The estimated poverty line for 2022 is Nu 6,204 per person per month. The report reveals that more than 80,000 people in the country are living below the poverty line.

The report is based on the 2022 Bhutan Living Standards Survey, representing more than 650,000 people.

The Bhutan Poverty Analysis Report states that Bhutan’s poverty rate for 2022 is estimated at 12.4 per cent. The poverty rate is derived using the poverty line which is the minimum level of income needed to secure the necessities of life.

As per the report, poverty in rural areas is more than 17 per cent, which is significantly higher than in urban areas where it is just over 4 per cent.

Less than 1 per cent of the population is subsistence poor, meaning they are unable to afford even the necessary food requirements.

The report also found the poor households to be larger with 5.5 individuals on average. Further, the report states that poverty rates are slightly higher in households led by a man in both urban and rural areas. The poverty rate of households led by a man in urban areas is 4.6 per cent while female-led households have a poverty rate of 3 per cent. Similarly, in rural areas, families led by male and female has a poverty rate of 17.8 and 17 per cent respectively.

According to the report, poverty varies strongly with the educational attainment of the household head. Households with heads who have 12th-grade or higher education saw only 1 per cent poverty rate. But households whose heads didn’t attend school saw a high poverty rate of 18.7 per cent. Meanwhile, the Gini index, which measures inequality, is 0.29 per cent at the national level.  The share of expenditure by the richest 20 per cent of the population is four times more than that of the poorest 20 per cent.

Kinley Dem 

Edited by Yeshi Gyaltshen

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