Stats SA: over 30.4m South Africans live below poverty line

stats south africa poverty report twitter joe ross flickr

Statistics South Africa is today publishing its second poverty trends report, shedding light on the country’s wealth brackets.

It’s also posting snippets of the report to Twitter, allowing a larger portion of South Africans to access and absorb the figures.

Notably, the first report was published in 2014, with the country outlining three distinct poverty lines a year later.

These three include the food-poverty line — the “absolute deprivation” threshold which marks the cash required to purchase the minimum daily energy intake — and the lower-bound poverty line — the point at which people are forced to “choose between food and important non-food items”.

The highlighted stats though concern the upper poverty line.

55.5% of South Africans living below this line can’t afford the minimum lifestyle desired by most South Africans, explains Stats SA.

This translates into 30.4-million people.

Stats SA suggests that all three lines have risen slightly since 2011 — suggesting that there were more poor South Africans living in 2015 than 2011 — but have fallen dramatically since 2006.

25.2% of South Africans still live below the food-poverty line.

The organisation found other notable differences between male- and female-headed households, urban and rural dwellers and the various age brackets.

“Female-headed households remain significantly poorer than male-headed households,” Stats SA tweeted, suggesting that the incidence of poverty for female-headed households was up to 27% higher than male-headed households.

Furthermore, a larger percentage of people living below the poverty line are found in South Africa’s rural areas, as opposed to its cities.

Statistics also suggest that South Africa’s poorest people are also its youngest.

“3 out of every 4 poor people in SA are aged 34 or younger,” Stats SA reveals.

The full Stats SA Poverty Trends Report can be found here, including more snippets on Stats SA’s Twitter account here.

Feature image: Joe Ross via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0, resized)

Andy Walker
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