Historic drop in poverty rate in Chile, government says

The poverty rate in Chile stood in 2022 at an historic low, national survey Casen said. Extreme poverty is declining too. Authorities say the results are partially thanks to the work of the current government.

Since records began being kept in 1987, Chile’s poverty rate has never been lower than it was in 2022, when it fell from 10.7 percent to 6.5 percent. The historic drop was announced in the 2022 National Socioeconomic Characterization Survey (Casen) preliminary findings, which were released by the Ministry of Social Development on Friday.

The rate fell by 4.2 percentage points compared to 2020, making it the lowest reported level of poverty since the survey started collecting data. The number of people fell from 2,081,030 to 1,292,521, which is also the lowest number since records have been kept. Two percent of the population, or 397,963 people, live in extreme poverty, the survey says. In 2020, the extreme poverty rate stood at 4.3 percent.

The 2022 Casen survey was carried out by the School of Economics at the University of Chile and the Ministry of Social Development was carried out between November 1, 2022, and February 2, 2023, surveying over 200,000 people nationwide, with data collected from over 70,000 households.

In an interview with Radio Pauta, the Undersecretary of Social Evaluation, Paula Poblete, called the results “good news” and pointed at the “fiscal efforts” made by the Boric administration. “This is a triumph for Chile in general”, she said. “There are two main factors causing the drop in poverty. The first is the normalization of the economy, and the other is a much greater presence of the State”.

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