Fact: Number of People in Uganda Living Below Poverty Line Increasing

Poverty Levels High in northern and eastern Uganda


A reader wrote to us requesting, that we fact check on the population of Ugandans living below the poverty line.

By Joseph Elunya

Poverty is the lack or insufficiency of money to meet basic needs, including food, clothing and shelter. Poverty can be measured in monetary terms based on the monthly (or annual) expenditure of a given individual. That expenditure is then compared to a threshold called the poverty line.

According to CIA World Factbook National estimates of the percentage of the population falling below the poverty line are based on surveys of sub-groups, with the results weighted by the number of people in each group.

Definitions of poverty vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations.

In Uganda, the population below poverty line currently is at 21.4%.

But worth noting is that, poverty is much more than the mere lack of money. It is also about deprivation in other important areas of wellbeing such as education, health, water, and housing.

According to the World Bank, Progress in reducing poverty has been much slower in Northern and Eastern Uganda, and thus, the concentration of poverty is higher in these two regions.

The proportion of the total number of poor people who live in the Northern and Eastern regions increased between 2006 and 2013, from 68% to 84%, according to the report.

Also, households in Uganda’s Northern, Eastern, and Western regions have much lower levels of human capital, fewer assets, and more limited access to services and infrastructure than households in the Central region.

For example, electricity is almost nonexistent in the Northern, Eastern and Western regions, where the proportion of households with access stands at 3.7%, 5.8%, and 8.6%, respectively.

This is far lower than 32.3% recorded for the Central region.

Worth noting is that, about 29% of households in Northern Uganda do not use any type of toilet facility. This is far higher than corresponding figures for Eastern, Western and Central regions at 8%, 2%, and 5% respectively-Source: World Bank- Uganda Poverty Assessment 2016: Fact Sheet

Fact Checked by Joseph Elunya jelunya@gmail.com twitter@JOSEPHELUNYA


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