Long-awaited poverty survey gets underway
A team of pollsters began visiting houses across the country this week to gather data on income, employment, crime, and access to technology and social programs.
The National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) will present the results of its annual Household Survey Oct. 31, after collecting information from 14,000 households in 79 of the country´s 81 cantons.
Last year´s survey made a splash, showing the biggest one-year drop in poverty in 13 years. Poverty levels sank to 16.7 percent from 20.2 percent in 2006, while unemployment dropped to 4.6 percent from 6 percent in 2006. INEC researchers said President Oscar Arias´ social programs partly explained the decreases, and Arias often mentions the figures as one of his central achievements.
Some political analysts say poverty will likely increase this year due to surging food and gas prices. Arias recently told the daily La Nación that he feared as much.
A family qualifies as “poor,” according to INEC researchers, if it cannot afford a “basket” (canasta basica) of 45 foods plus basic living expenses such as housing, education and clothing. Still, INEC has not modified its list of necessities since 1988, even though eating and living habits have changed.
Elizabeth Solano, the survey´s director, said the list will be changed in 2009 – a promise the institute has been making for years.
Solano said researchers are going slow to make sure the changes are sound: A change in the way poverty is measured would be controversial because it will affect the survey´s outcome, she added.
You may be interested
Amazon Web Services opens new Costa Rica officeAlejandro Zúñiga - February 25, 2021
Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., on Thursday opened a new office in Costa Rica to support the…
Costa Rica aims for urban natural parks to improve wellness in citiesThe Tico Times - February 25, 2021
The Costa Rican government this week issued a decree creating a new type of park within the framework of the…
Rule of law deteriorating in Nicaragua: UN rights chiefAFP - February 25, 2021
The rule of law is deteriorating in Nicaragua ahead of November's general elections, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet warned Thursday,…