According to the CIA World Factbook, the overwhelming majority of the population in Peru – about 54% – live in poverty. Of that 545, the UNDP estimates that around 19% are living in “absolute poverty,” which means they are surviving on less than $1 each day.
In recent years, the poverty rate of Peru has actually declined. However, that suffered a setback in 2015 when it was reported that it was just down 1.2 percentage points compared to the 3 percentage points the last six years.
Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund estimate that Peru’s economy needs to grow 6% annually over a sustained period if it is to reduce its poverty rate to adequate levels. Considering Peru isn’t doing as poorly as neighboring Bolivia and Equador, it is still behind Chile and Colombia in terms of per capita income as well as access to goods and services.
What else do you need to know about the poverty rate in Peru? Read on to find out.
1. The contrast between rich and poor is clearly seen in Lima, the country’s capital.
A lot of those living in the nation’s capital are settled in what’s called shantytowns, a lot of which are located on barren sand dunes close to the Pacific Coast or situated on the rocky outcrops in the foothills of the Andes. These so-called shantytowns or pueblos jovenes surround upscale neighborhoods.
2. Poverty is mostly felt by residents of indigenous origin who live in remote rural areas.
More than half of the population in Peru is living in poverty, but about 20% of those are located in the Sierra region. The lack of opportunities offered to those living in rural regions have driven the to migrate to urban centers where there is a better chance of obtaining livelihood. It is estimated that about three out of four Peruvians are living in or around urban areas.
The poorest of the poor are located in the Andean highlands, an arid region where the indigenous Quechua and Aymara communities reside. They are considered as living below the poverty line.
Although strides have been made to reduce poverty in rural areas, the rate in these places are still three times higher than urban areas. A Reuters report in 2015 stated that the poverty rate fell 2 percentage points to 46% in rural areas.
3. Women are the worst ones affected by poverty.
Despite being vital to the subsistence economy, women are the ones affected most by poverty. They work in agriculture, they tend livestock and they even engage in income-generating activities but despite this, they are still struggling to get by. Women represent about 80% of the labor force of a family. Apart from their work, women also take care of household tasks and are in charge of child care which results in their husbands migrating in order to find temporary work.
According to statistics agency Inei, about 289,000 Peruvians were able to emerge from poverty in 2014. This number is around half as many of that recorded in 2013.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.