Based on the recent household surveys and census data, the CBS has come up with Small Area Estimation of Poverty 2013 in Nepal. A general trend is that while the (rural) Far West and Mid West districts have the highest proportion of population living below the poverty line, the Terai districts have the highest number of poor people below the poverty line. The poverty line is fixed at Rs 19,261 (both food and non-food).
According to the latest figures, Bajura has the high percentage of district population (64.1%) living below the poverty line, followed by Kalikot (57.9%), Bhajhang (56.8%), Humla (56%) and Darchula (53%). The districts with the least proportion of poor as a share of the respective district’s population are Kaski (4%), Illam (7.3%), Lalitpur (7.6%), Kathmandu (7.6%) and Chitwan (8.9%). Note that at the national level, the poverty rate is 25.2% of the total population.
Now, do not get confused with the percentage of poor with the number of poor. For instance, while poverty rate in Bajura is 64.1% of that district’s population (134,062), the number of poor people below the poverty line is 85,934. Similarly, while Kathmandu has poverty rate of 7.6%, the number of poor people in Kathmandu is 128,298.
Overall, Nepal has 6,588,664 number of poor people living below the poverty line (25.16% of 26,187,059 = 6.59 million). Kailali has the highest number of poor (257,204), followed by Saptari (251,643), Rautahat (227,340), Siraha (219,656), and Bara (203,348). The least number of poor people are in Manang (2,150), Mustang (4,634), Rasuwa (13,311), Terhathum (147,17), and Dolpa (184,98).
Comparing the progress between 2001 (based on NLSS II) and 2011 (based on NLSS III), the data shows that poverty (% of respective district population) declined in 55 districts, but increased in 19 districts. Twenty districts were able to reduce poverty by over 20 percentage points.
The largest reduction in poverty happened in Panchthar (down from 52.5% in 2001 to 11.4% in 2011 = 41.1 percentage points), followed by Rolpa, Illam, Dhankuta and Khotang. Poverty increased the most in Bajura (by 16.8 percentage points), followed by Manang, Darchula, Jumla and Humla. While Kathmandu and Bhaktapur saw increase in poverty by 3.2 and 3.8 percentage points, respectively, Lalitpur saw a decline in poverty by 2.5 percentage points.
Now, the following comparison (at the district level) will be interesting. I will try to write separate blog posts when I have more free time as these tend to have growth and development policy implications:
- Percentage point decline in poverty, and remittance inflows and per capita remittance receipts
- Percentage point decline in poverty and migration/absentee population
- Percentage point decline in poverty and changes in education and health services
- Percentage point decline in poverty and aid concentration
- Percentage point decline in poverty and per capita public expenditure
- Percentage point decline in poverty and provision of infrastructure (electricity, roads, telephone)
- Percentage point decline in poverty and change in real estate and housing prices
- Percentage point decline in poverty, and agriculture production and agriculture productivity
- Percentage point decline in poverty and industrial value added production
More on these and poverty gap and poverty severity by district in later posts.