208,021 Fijians live in poverty

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A squatter settlement in Suva. Picture: FT FILE

About 208,021 Fijians live in poverty, states the revised Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2019-2020 report released by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics.

An initial report released in August 2021 stated Fiji had a poverty rate of 29.9 per cent that was later revised to 24.1 per cent by the World Bank.

The revised report states almost a quarter of Fijians were living in poverty in 2019-2020, with rural poverty being much higher than urban poverty.

“Based on the 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey, 24.1 per cent of Fijians, or about 208,021 individuals in 45,724 households, lived under the basic needs poverty line.”

The report states out of 386,632 Fijians living in rural areas, 141,301 were poor. Out of 477,500 people living in urban Fiji, 66,720 were poor.

There were more males who were poor when compared with females, with 108,705 males and 99,317 females living in poverty.

The Western Division had the highest number of persons living in poverty at 86,577, the Central Division having 67,779 persons, the North registering 39,433 and the Eastern Division having 14,233 people living in poverty.

The revised report states out of 357,524 legally married persons in Fiji, 77,349 were living in poverty while 39,822 persons who never married were poor.