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Bhutan Poverty Analysis Report (PAR) 2017 has found higher poverty rate among those with older household heads and those with larger households.

Poverty rate is lower where household heads have attained higher education level.

PAR 2017, which was launched on December 13, surveyed 692,895 individuals.

Of the total surveyed, 56,865 individuals were found to be poor. The country’s poverty rate is 8.2 percent.

A person consuming less than the total poverty line of Nu 2,195.95 per month is considered poor, while those consuming less than the food poverty line of Nu 1,473.45 per month is considered subsistence poor.

Of the total poor in the country, 10,687 are found to be subsistence poor.

PAR 2017 found that the poverty rate increases with the age of the household head. Poverty rate is about 2 percent for those below 25 years, while for those who are 65 years and above, it is 10.4 percent.

“This suggests the importance of providing social protection for elderly person,” report states.

About 11 percent of the household heads are 65 years and above. Most household heads are aged between 25 to 54 years.

The report has found that poverty rate of households with nine and above members was 28 percent; for households with household members between four and five, the rate was 5.3 percent.

Both poverty rate and the subsistence poverty rate increase with the size of the household.

The report found that among the poor individuals, the depth and the severity of poverty is higher among those living in the rural areas than those in urban areas.

The poverty gap, which measures the depth of poverty, is defined as the difference between the poverty line and the actual per capita expenditure.

“The poverty gap in rural areas is almost 2.4 percent as compared to just below 0.2 percent in urban areas,” the report states.

About 12 percent of the rural population was found to be poor against 0.8 percent in urban areas.

The report shows that among those household heads without any education background, poverty rate is about 9 percent. However, for those who have attained education between grade nine and 12, poverty rate is 0.4 percent.

About 67 percent of the poor didn’t receive any kind of education against 50 percent of the non-poor.

NSB also launched the Bhutan Living Standard Survey 2017 on December 13.

Phurpa Lhamo

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