According to a report by the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), the country’s poverty rate will decrease by 3.2 percentage points to 39.3% by 2021, implying that approximately 19.6 million Colombians live on less than $89.50 a month.
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The drop in the poverty rate in Colombia in 2021, as the country undertook efforts to recover from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, fails to reverse the increase in poverty in 2020 .
Among people living on less than $40.70 a month, Colombia’s extreme poverty rate fell from 15.1% to 12.2% of the population between 2020 and last year.
According to the report, the poverty rate in Colombia has not decreased everywhere. In the departments of Magdalena and La Guajira, poverty increased by 0.3 and 1.1 percentage points respectively in the north of the country. In comparison, it increased by 2.7 percentage points in Southwest Cauca, reaching 58.3%.
For the national total, the incidence of monetary poverty in 2021 was 3.6 percentage points higher than in 2019. At the departmental level, La Guajira presented the highest incidence of poverty for 2021 with 67, 4%, and Huila recorded the largest drop between 2019 and 2021.
La Guajira has become the poorest province in the country due to the coronavirus, with a poverty rate of 67.4% last year.
DANE estimates that more than half of the people living in eight of Colombia’s 32 departments live below the national poverty line.