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Poverty rate remains stable at 21% in Costa Rica, government says

October 18, 2019

Poverty in Costa Rica remained has stable at 21% over the last year, while extreme poverty had a slight reduction of half a percentage point to 5.8%, the official statistical agency said Thursday.

According to the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC), almost 336,000 Costa Rican households live below the poverty line. The total population of the country is about 5 million.

Juan Luis Bermúdez, Minister of Human Development, stressed the importance of reducing extreme poverty because it means that 22,389 people came out of that condition, which is defined by an inability to meet basic food needs.

The figures are based on the National Household Survey, which is carried out annually by the INEC.

The minister said that the average income among the poorest 20% of the population had a more rapid increase than the other segments of the population.

“That is a very important step in reducing inequality in the country,” Bermudez said.

For his part, President Carlos Alvarado stressed that to reduce the country’s general poverty, a greater effort is required to attack unemployment, which affects 11.9% of the economically active population.

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