Social Issues

Over 20% of Nepal’s population lives below poverty line: survey

Kathmandu, Feb 12 (EFE).- More than 20% of Nepal’s over 29 million population lives below the poverty line, the country’s National Statistics Office (NSO) reported on Monday.

According to the Nepal Living Standards Survey 2022-2023, poverty was higher in rural areas, with 24.66%, compared to urban areas, where it was 18.34%.

Deputy Chief Statistician Hem Raj Regmi said at a press conference that the portion of the population living below the poverty line was determined based on whether a person spent a minimum of 72,908 Nepalese rupees ($550) per year on daily essentials.

Regmi attributed the slow reduction of the poverty rate in 2023 mainly to the persistent consequences of the devastating 2015 earthquake and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The consequences of these two phenomena continue to impact Nepal’s service and tourism industries, which are crucial revenue sources for the country.

The country’s Sudurpaschim province recorded the highest poverty rate at 34.16%, followed by the Karnali province at 26.69%, and the Lumbini province at 24.35%.

The survey also revealed that the poverty rate was 2.5 times higher among households with heads of families lacking education compared to households where the breadwinner completed at least primary education.

Moreover, the poverty rate was only 0.44% among households whose heads completed higher education.

Nepal has faced numerous challenges in health and education sectors following the April 2015 earthquake, which claimed over 8,000 lives and left several thousand injured. EFE

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