October 13 2015
The study, carried out by the National Institute for Development Information with the assistance of the World Bank, indicated that moderate poverty had declined from 42.5% of households in 2009 to 29.6% of households in 2014, while extreme poverty had declined from 14.6% of households in 2009 to 8.3% of households in 2014. Managua had the lowest moderate poverty rate at 11.6%, followed by the Pacific region at 18.5%, the Caribbean Coast with 39%, and the central region with the highest rate of poverty at 44.4%. Seventy percent of Nicaraguan households are classified as “not poor.” The study surveyed 7,570 households in all regions of Nicaragua between September and December 2014.
Central Bank President Ovidio Reyes said that government efforts to reduce poverty through its social and economic programs had contributed to the improved figures. Carlos Sobrado, a specialist in measuring poverty levels with the World Bank, agreed that the government policies had contributed along with a reduction in the number of members in each household, an increase in family remittances from abroad, and an increase in wages. In 2005, the average Nicaraguan family had 5.2 people while that dropped to 4.37 in 2014. In 1992, Nicaraguan women had an average of 4.5 children while in 2013 the average was 2.5 children. (In the 1960s, the average was 7.3 per women.)
The World Bank added that in the past six years there had been an increase per capita in consumption of food, personal items, and durable goods and more use of transportation as well as more access to housing, health care and education.
The number of cars and small trucks increased from 233,200 in 2009 to 276,200 in 2014 while the number of motorcycles increased massively from 86,300 to 207,000 in the same period. World Bank representative Luis Constantino said, “They are very positive results; poverty is being reduced at two percent per year. Extreme poverty is very difficult to reduce and here very substantial achievements were made.” He said that the school meal program and school back pack programs should be continued and extended because both these programs help to keep children in school. (El Nuevo Diario, Oct. 6, 7, 12; Informe Pastran, Oct. 6, 7, 8, 9; Nicaragua News, Oct. 7, 8;