Poverty rate rises in Egypt, widening gap between rich and poor: CAPMAS

Ahram Online, Thursday 29 Nov 2012

Predominant in rural areas, official statistics agency CAPMAS reports poverty rate has reached 25.5 per cent for year 2010/2011

Poverty has increased in Egypt during the last two years (Photo: Reuters)

The poverty rate has considerably increased, as it has reached an average of 25.5 per cent for the year 2010/2011 compared to 21.6 per cent in 2008/2009, the state-run statistics agency CAPMAS reported.

Poverty remains predominant in rural areas compared to urban areas, with 69 per cent of its total population below the poverty line. The governorate of Assiut (Upper Egypt) having the highest poverty rate in all of Egypt.

The average household income has reached LE25,000 ($4,090) for the year 2010/2011. The average expenditures of Egyptian households stand at some LE22,000 ($3600).

The poorest 20 per cent have spent an average LE14,000 ($2,290) per household annually while the expenditures of the richest 20 per cent have reached average of LE 31500 ($5,154).

The highest group expenses amounted four times the poorest category spending.

The recent report also highlighted income discrepancies between urban areas that reached an average household income of LE30,205 ($4942) compared to LE21,370 ($3496) in rural areas.

Employment income is reported as the main source of family income, as it constitutes almost 70.4 per cent of total household income, mainly derived from the public sector. This is followed by income from cash commodity transfers that represent almost 15.9 per cent of total household income.

The report distinguished 6 different categories of expenditure levels; the lowest of which includes households that spend less than LE10,000 ($1,636) annually, making up some 22 per cent Egypt’s families.

The highest expenditure category includes households that spend more than LE50,000 annually which are just above 4 per cent of families.

The last two paragraphs were corrected on 30 November to reflect expenditure statistics instead of income. The word ‘average’ was added to all figures in the fourth paragraph. The article was trimmed to better reflect the CAPMAS report.

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