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Brazil’s Misery Index Drops 2%: 25% Still Live Below Poverty Line

Brazil’s misery index fell 8% between 2003 and 2004, according to a study entitled "Misery Falls," based on data in the IBGE 2004 Household Survey, which shows that the distance between the rich and poor in Brazil has fallen for three consecutive years.

Marcelo Neri, who coordinated the study for the Getúlio Vargas Social Policies Center, says that it is too early to see a long-term drop in the "abyss" between the rich and poor, but that the drop that has occurred for three straight years is something unheard of in the last 30 years of Brazilian history.

Neri says that a series of factors have contributed to improving the situation. There has been economic growth, inflation stability, real increases in the minimum wage, a stronger job market, more people going to school for longer periods and greater income distribution as a result of government action.

"There is a new generation of social programs making people aware of the need to give more to those who have less. Examples of this are the School Scholarship program and retirement benefits for rural workers. Those two programs have reached the country’s remote pockets of abject poverty, reducing the misery index," he said.

According to the Fundação Getulio Vargas, in 2003 the country had 27.26% of its population living below the poverty line (making less than US$51 per month). In 2004, that number had dropped to 25.08%.

Agência Brasil

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  • Guest

    A SHAME TO YOUR GOVERNMENT….
    ….so proud of having 25 % of the population OR 46 millions citizens making less than US$ 51.- per month !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest

    Doubtful numbers !!!!!!
    The wealthy have invested their money in the stock market, or in short time deposits providing very high interests rate, or in real estate.

    The return on these investments have been far higher that the increase in your basic minimum salary that anyway millions and millions of citizens dont even earn.

    Simple maths would demonstrate that the wealth inequality has not been reduced.

    Furthermore your poverty line is trunked too, because your currency increased, making more dollars, and this explains your apparent reduction in poverty.

    Finally, using US$ 51.- per month to determine if one is poor or not is a true SHAME.

    No doubt you could put the number at US$ 40.- per month and you would have a lower percentage of poverty.

    Why not US$ 20.- and your poverty rate would still be 10 % or whatever.

    LAMENTABLE to use US$ 51.- per month to determine the poverty line. The amount is below the cost of 1 of your basic basket !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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