Almost 38% of the Argentine urban population lives in multidimensional poverty

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BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) – 37.5% of the Argentine urban population (about 15,750,000 inhabitants) was in a situation of multidimensional poverty, the author of a report published by the Social Debt Observatory of the Catholic University (UCA).

“The report reveals the evolution of multidimensional poverty in the period 2010-2019, which implies that 37.5% of the population by the end of last year was in a situation where in addition to being poor, there were deficiencies in some of the dimensions that we relieve, “said researcher Juan Ignacio Bonfiglio.

The measurement of multidimensional poverty considers both income and deficiencies in six aspects of social and economic rights: food and health, decent housing, education, basic housing services, healthy environment and employment and social security.
“The year 2019 is what marks the highest level of multidimensional poverty since we began measuring it in 2010,” said the author of the work accessed by this agency.

65% of households had deficit access to at least one dimension; 44% experienced restrictions in at least two aspects, and 27.6% were deprived of at least three rights during the past year, according to the study “Poverty beyond income. Report on multidimensional poverty 2010-2019”.

The lack of fundamental rights experienced last year “a significant increase compared to 2018, when there was also an increase in relation to 2017,” Bonfiglio contextualized.
The percentage of the population without satisfied basic rights increased 6.1 percentage points between 2018 and last year, so that in just one year 1,428,000 people fell below the poverty line.
In this context, during the last two years “a deterioration of the relevant situation was observed (which) is particularly explained by the deterioration of the real income of households and by what happened with a couple of dimensions that also experienced a fall, which are food and health and access to social security, “said the author of the work.

Between 2018 and 2019, the proportion of urban population affected by the deficit in food security and medical care went from 28.2% to 32.2%.

On the other hand, people who had no sewer connection, running water and energy (basic services) went from 34 to 33.5%, while the inhabitants who lived in areas without landfills, polluting factories and contaminated water (environment), were reduced from 33.8 to 31.2%.

Previous government

During the Government of Mauricio Macri (2015-2019), poverty increased by more than 10 percentage points, from 27.2% to 37.5%, the percentage of households with at least one basic deficiency.
“In 2016, a process begins that, with the exception of 2017, expresses a strong increase in multidimensional poverty that reached 37.5% of the population in 2019,” said the researcher.
The absence of full employment and social security had during this period “a significant deterioration” because “the level of households that do not receive income from registered employment or retirement or contributory pensions increased by five percentage points from 25 to 30% of the total “between 2016 and 2019, the document says.

“This dynamic was mainly linked to the increase in unemployment and job insecurity, which had a stronger impact on the most vulnerable sectors,” the Observatory report adds.

One of each

Multidimensional poverty had a rise of 7.8 percentage points since 2010, at the beginning of the historical series, when it stood at 29.7%.

During this period, the “deterioration experienced by real household income during this last stage was recorded, as well as the impact it had on key dimensions such as access to food and health and access to employment and social security” , highlights the UCA document.
The worst conditions of access to food and health are explained “since 2016 by the difficulties in accessing medicines and medical care, and since 2018, by the increase in severe food insecurity, in a context of strong price increases of medicines and food and decrease in consumption in general terms, “the report adds.
Deprivations that led to food security and health care deficits increased for people eight percentage points since 2010.

The work also recognizes in the last nine years “a substantial improvement in access to basic housing services and a favorable evolution in relation to access to decent housing and a healthy environment.”

The proportion of people who did not have sanitation, running water and energy decreased by 10 percentage points during the last decade, as this situation affected 43.4% of the urban population in 2010, and in 2019 33.5%.

Structural poverty

The UCA also detected that structural poverty assumed a decreasing trend between 2010 and 2015, with levels close to 16%, while starting in 2016 “begins a stage in which it experienced a sustained increase (with the exception of 2017) arriving at the highest level of the series in 2019, reaching 21% of the population. ”
“Although we have increased poverty in the last two years, this does not have to lose sight of the fact that poverty in Argentina is a structural problem and that there are significant persistence throughout the period,” Bonfiglio said.
The report was carried out with the survey of 5,760 representative households of medium and large cities based on a methodology developed by the National Council for the Evaluation of the Social Development Policy of Mexico.

Poverty in the last quarter of 2019 reached 40.8% if only monetary income is taken into account, according to the UCA measurement.

Meanwhile, the National Institute of Statistics and Census will release on March 31 the official poverty data for the second half of 2019.

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