Poverty declined in Colombia in 2021; but still above pre-Covid times

Colombian poverty levels reduced last year compared to 2020, owing to the Andean country’s economic recovery, but have yet to return to levels observed before the coronavirus outbreak, according to the government.

According to the government’s DANE statistics office, the percentage of Colombians living in poverty declined to 39.3 percent in 2021, down from 42.5 percent in 2020. The figure for 2019 was 35.7 percent.

“Although we saw considerable recoveries between 2020 and 2021, they were insufficient to raise people’s real per capita income in real terms above that of 2019,” DANE head Juan Daniel Oviedo said in a virtual press conference.

According to the agency, extreme poverty fell to 12.2 percent in 2021, down from 15.1 percent the previous year.

The drop in poverty rates coincided with the resurgence of Latin America’s fourth-largest economy, which grew by 10.6% last year.

According to DANE, 19.6 million people in Colombia were poor by the end of 2021, out of a population of 50 million, with 6.1 million living in extreme poverty.

According to the agency, 1.4 million people escaped poverty last year, with 1.3 million escaping extreme poverty.

Last year, poverty in Colombia’s metropolitan regions, which house the bulk of the country’s population, fell to roughly 37.8%, with extreme poverty at 10.3%.

Poverty, according to the DANE agency, is defined as living on less than $3 per day, while extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.36 per day.

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