Poverty affects more than half of the population in 9 states – 05/26/2023 – Market

Poverty affects more than half of the population in 9 states – 05/26/2023 – Market

With the impact of measures such as Auxílio Brasil and the resumption of the labor market, the number of people in poverty fell by almost 10.5 million in the country in 2022, according to a study by the IJSN (Instituto Jones dos Santos Neves).

According to the survey, the poverty rate fell in Brazil and in the 27 units of the federation last year. Even so, it remained above 50% in nine states, distributed in the Northeast and North regions – there were 14 in 2021.

The result means that, in these nine locations, more than half of the population was still considered poor, despite the improvement in numbers in 2022.

The study was prepared based on data from the Continuous PNAD (Continuous National Household Sample Survey) of income from all sources, released this month by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).

This IBGE survey goes beyond the labor market and also covers other types of income, including social benefits.

The IJSN is linked to the Secretary of Economy and Planning of Espírito Santo and also coordinates the Vitória Nucleus of the Observatório das Metrópoles.

According to the survey, the poverty rate in Brazil fell from a record 38.2% in 2021 to 33% in 2022. The latest result is the third lowest in the historical series, which started in 2012, and the lowest since 2020 (32.7%).

In absolute terms, the number of people considered poor in the country decreased from 81.2 million in 2021 to 70.7 million in 2022. Hence the reduction of almost 10.5 million mentioned at the beginning of this text.

To give you an idea, this amount (10.5 million) exceeds the sum of the populations estimated by the IBGE in 2021 for the city of Rio de Janeiro (6.8 million) and Brasília (3.1 million).

The nine states that still had poverty rates above 50%, even with the reduction compared to 2021, were the following: Maranhão (58.9%), Amazonas (56.7%), Alagoas (56.2%), Paraíba (54.6%), Ceará (53.4%), Pernambuco (53.2%), Acre (52.9%), Bahia (51.6%) and Piauí (50.4%).

Another six recorded poverty rates above the national average (33%) but below 50%. These are the cases of Amapá (49.4%), Pará (49.1%), Sergipe (47.9%), Roraima (46.8%), Rio Grande do Norte (46.2%) and Tocantins (35 .8%). All are also in the North and Northeast regions.

At the other end of the list, the lowest poverty rates were estimated for Santa Catarina (13.9%), the Federal District (17.3%) and Rio Grande do Sul (18.2%).

In São Paulo, the indicator dropped from 24.9% in 2021 to 20.40% in 2022. It is the fourth lowest among the Federation Units.

On the eve of last year’s presidential elections, the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government announced the expansion of the Auxílio Brasil to R$600.

In addition to this increase, the resumption of the labor market and income transfer programs in states and municipalities also made poverty retreat, says Pablo Lira, director-president of the IJSN and coordinator of the Vitória Nucleus of the Observatório das Metrópoles.

The researcher considers that the improvement in 2022 came after a year marked by difficulties. In 2021, the poverty rate had reached the highest level of the historical series started in 2012 in the country (38.2%).

“In 2022, there were social assistance policies, not limited to Auxílio Brasil, and also the improvement of employment”, says Lira.

“Even so, we have to recognize that poverty and extreme poverty remain high,” he adds.

To calculate the data, the IJSN used benchmarks established by the World Bank. In 2022 values, converted into reais, the poverty line was defined at R$ 665.02 per capita (per person) per month, while the extreme poverty line was R$ 208.73 per capita per month.

In practice, residents of households whose income per person was within this limit are classified as poor or extremely poor.

The calculations consider the PPC (Purchasing Power Parity) indicator. The method takes into account the amount demanded to acquire the same amount of goods and services in each nation’s domestic market compared to the US market, says the IJSN.

Extreme poverty also decreases

In the case of extreme poverty, the Brazilian rate went from the maximum of 9.4% in 2021 to 6.4% in 2022. The most recent data signals the lowest level since 2020 (6.3%).

In absolute numbers, people considered extremely poor decreased from 20 million in 2021 to 13.7 million in 2022.

The reduction, in absolute terms, was 6.3 million. The contingent is close to the population estimated by the IBGE for the municipality of Rio de Janeiro in 2021 (6.8 million).

According to the IJSN, the extreme poverty rate fell in 26 of the 27 states of the federation. The exception was Mato Grosso, where the indicator increased from 3.8% to 4.1%, still below the national average (6.4%).

In 2022, 14 states had an extreme poverty rate above the Brazilian one. The highest ones were estimated in Maranhão (15.9%), in Acre (14.7%) and in Alagoas (14.1%).

These rates, says the IJSN study, are above, for example, those observed in countries like Senegal (9.3%) and Honduras (12.7%), which face historical social problems.

The extreme poverty rate was lower in Santa Catarina (1.9%), Federal District (2%) and Mato Grosso do Sul (2.8%) last year.

The IJSN states that the indicators of these units of the federation are at levels similar to those of nations such as Peru (2.9%) and Serbia (1.6%), but remain far from developed countries such as the United States (0.2%), Denmark (0.2%) and Norway (0.2%).

For 2023, Lira projects a further reduction in poverty and extreme poverty rates in Brazil. One of the factors that should weigh this year, according to him, is the maintenance of income transfers through initiatives such as Bolsa Família.

The social program, relaunched by the Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) government, replaced the Auxílio Brasil, with the possibility of additional payments.

Lira, however, still considers the poverty scenario in the country to be serious. “The primordial factor is the continuity of the public policies of the State, not being linked to governments”, he affirms.

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