The Wall Street Journal

Colombia's Poverty Decreases, But Extreme Poverty Up - Govt

Aug 25--About half of Colombia's total population of 44 million inhabitants lived in poverty in 2008 with 20 million Colombians surviving with a monthly income of 275,000 Colombian pesos ($137), the government's National Planning Department, known as DNP said Monday.

25 de agosto de 2009

According to Esteban Piedrahita, director of DNP, 46% of the country's total population lived in poverty at the end of last year, compared with 53.7% of those who lived in poverty at the end of 2002.

The government considers as poor a family of four with a monthly household income of less than COP1.1 million or a single person earning less than COP275,000 a month.

Meanwhile, extreme poverty increased to 17.8% of the country's total population in 2008, compared with 15.7% in 2005, but less than the 19.7% reported in 2002.

Colombia has as much as 8 million living in extreme poverty. A family of four living in extreme poverty has household income less than COP400,000 a month and a single person in extreme poverty earns COP100,000 a month.

"The government is worried with extreme poverty data as a large group of the population became poorer because of an increase in food prices. Inflation hits the poorest sectors," Piedrahita said.
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