Namibia continues to lessen lived poverty


Namibiai has experienced a dramatic decline in inequality and poverty over the past decades, according to official statistics from the National Statistics Agency and the National Planning Commission. The Gini coefficient (the measure of income distribution of a nation's residents and shows inequality levels) has decreased from over 7.4 in the 1990s to 6.8 in 2001 and 5.8 in the latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (2009-2010). In the last Afrobarometer Lived Poverty Index (2011-2013) Namibia ranked the 9th least affected by lived poverty (0.99) out of 34 countries surveyed. This correlates with the latest World Bank data (2009) showing a low poverty gap (based on per capita consumption estimated from household survey data) in Namibia of 8.8, one of the lowest on the continent.

Afrobarometer asked Namibians in the latest survey (2014) about access to food, medical care, cooking fuel, water for drinking and food to eat in the past year. A significant majority of respondents only experience “never” experiencing shortages, for example almost four out of five Namibians “never” or “just once or twice” (78%) experience a lack of food but cash income is less available than all other lived poverty items, linking it to unemployment. About one in two (41%) Namibians believe unemployment is the top most important problem.

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