The Jakarta Post
Indonesia has maintained a single-digit poverty rate as it posted a 9.66 percent rate as of September 2018, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reported on Tuesday, with the number of poor people standing at 25.67 million.
The figure decreased from 9.82 percent in March, meaning 280,000 people had been lifted out of poverty. The figure has inched closer to the government’s target of between 8.5 to 9.5 percent during 2019.
BPS head Suhariyanto said the improvement was thanks to the overall increase in farmers’ wages as well as stable inflation of 0.94 percent between March and September.
“However, the challenge remains for the government to balance out the rate as urban poverty was recorded at 6.89 percent, whereas rural poverty was 13.1 percent,” Suhariyanto told reporters on Tuesday.
The national poverty line was Rp 1.9 million (US$135) per family per month, with a huge disparity between the highest and lowest threshold. For instance, Jakarta’s poverty line was Rp 3.4 million per family, but in West Nusa Tenggara the figure was Rp 1.4 million.
The price of staples played a huge role in the poverty rate, he said, pointing that the price of rice was the biggest factor, followed by cigarettes, poultry and instant noodles.
The method and indicators to determine the rate, he added, had been left unchanged since 1998 so that the yearly rate would always be comparable and relevant in any given period.
In line with the reduced poverty rate, the Gini ratio improved slightly to 0.384 as of September 2018, down from 0.389 in March and 0.391 in September 2017. Similar to the poverty rate, the ratio also showed differences between provinces. (bbn)