By Adriaan Alsema, Colombia Reports – The percentage of Colombia’s population living below the poverty line dropped from 34.1% to 32.7% between 2011 and 2012.
In a released study on poverty, statistics agency DANE stressed that poverty has been going down steadily since 2009 when 40.3% of Colombia’s population lived below the poverty line set by the government.
In absolute numbers this translates to 15.4 million Colombians who survived with less than $105 a month.
Along with the percentage of the population living in poverty, the country’s GINI coefficient, which measures inequality in a country, dropped from 0.548 to 0.539.
While on a national level poverty and inequality dropped, on a regional level this wasn’t always the case.
According to the study that was held in 24 of Colombia’s 32 departments, poverty in Choco, Colombia’s poorest department, increased 6 percentage points meaning that in 2012, 68% of the chocoano population lived below the poverty line. More than 40% of the people in Choco live in extreme poverty. This in stark contrast to the capital Bogota where 11.6% of the population lived below the poverty line.
The reduction of poverty and inequality has been one of the main issues of the socio-economic policies of President Juan Manuel Santos, whose administration slogan has been “Prosperity for all.”