Economy & Business - March 2022

BOLIVIA: Sustainable progress on poverty?

A 26 January report by Bolivia’s national statistics institute (INE) highlighted a notable improvement in poverty rates in Bolivia in 2021. Poverty fell by 2.7 percentage points, affecting 36.6% of the population, while the extreme poverty rate was down 2.6 percentage points at 11.1%. The report highlighted the improvements made in decreasing both poverty and inequality in Bolivia since 2006, when former president Evo Morales (2006-2019) came to power, noting that the poverty level in the country then stood at 59.9%, with 37.7% of the population living in extreme poverty. In terms of inequality, in 2005 the wealthiest 10% of the population earned 128 times as much as the poorest 10%; by 2021 this had fallen to just 20 times as much, down from 27 in 2020. The majority of Bolivians classed as living in extreme poverty live in rural areas, with the incidence in those areas being 23%, compared to 6.1% in urban areas.

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