07 February 2012

Poverty down 12% in Rwanda

Rwanda launches its new poverty numbers today. Poverty has fallen by almost 12 percentage points in just 5 years. That is pretty incredible. Speaking at the launch, Paul Collier said  "The combination of growth, reduction in poverty and more equity has been achieved no where else in Africa."

Here is a comparison with international experience of poverty reduction:

I imagine that some commentators may have something to say about the political implications of all this. Not me. Just congratulations to the approximately 1 half a million* Rwandans who have managed to increase their income and work themselves out of poverty. And to the National Institute of Statistics and the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning of Rwanda for getting these numbers out so quickly after the end of fieldwork. (And... to the team from OPM and Sussex who gave them a hand).

For more, follow @RwandaGov , @MinFinanceRw , #rwanda2020 , and you can find the full launch presentations here.

* A note on translating the % decrease into a number of people - I've heard the 1 million people lifted out of poverty line from a couple of people and that was also my initial estimate. The difference between 57% and 45% of the current population is 1 million people. However the population grew substantially between 2005 and 2010, such that around half of those people "lifted out of poverty" weren't actually born in 2005, but would have been born into poverty, so you need to be a little careful about saying "lifted 1 million people out of poverty". Actually half a million were lifted out of poverty, and half a million, were not born into poverty, which they would have been if the poverty rate had not fallen. 


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