17 June 2010

New Poverty figures for Southern Sudan

The Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics, and Evaluation (SSCCSE – yes its a bit of a tongue-twister, but still probably easier to say and remember than the SSFFAMC), released yesterday the results of the first ever nationally representative household survey in Southern Sudan.

The headline to note is that “poverty” is considerably lower than previously estimated. In 2005 somebody licked their finger and stuck it in the air, and decided that probably about 90% of the population was living below a poverty line of $1 a day. This figure then got quoted and repeated in the opening paragraph of every report written since. Back to the drawing-board guys.

The new poverty line (based on a basic calorific intake plus a bit of non-food consumption) is SDG 73 per month – roughly a dollar a day at official market exchange rates (but a bit less at actual unofficial market exchange rates).

50% of the population falls below this poverty line.

Average consumption is SDG 100 per month.

More to come as soon as I can find an online version I can link to.

And does anyone at SSCCSE want to comment?


Skeptical Bandit said...

The report is now uploaded to the GOSS website at


By the way, the 90% and 50% figure aren't directly comparable because the dollar-a-day figures are supposed to be in PPP$ not current exchange rates. No doubt though the 90% figure is far too big.

You would also hope that poverty has come down since 2004 (the war ended in 2005!).So this figure seems reasonable....

Lee said...

Thanks for the link.

More to the point - poverty lines are stupid anyway. I would not consider people whose monthly consumption is SDG 80 per month to be "non-poor".

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