6.8m Ghanaians live on less than US$1 a day — GSS report

Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS) Round 7

Some 6.8 million Ghanaians, representing 23.4 percent of the population, could not afford to spend more than GH¢4.82—approximately US$1—a day in 2016/17, the Ghana Living Standards Survey Round 7 report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed.

According to the report, this is a marginal drop of 0.8 percent from the 24.2 percent of population that lived below the poverty line in the 2005/6 survey.

“Ghana has consistently been experiencing poverty reduction since the 1990s. Ghana achieved the MDG1 of halving its poverty level in 2013. 23.4 percent of Ghanaians are poor based on 2017 population projections; 6.8 million people are poor and therefore could not afford to spend GH¢4.82 per day in 2016/17 (GH¢1,760.80 per year in 2016/17),” the report states.

Again, the report notes that 2.4 million Ghanaians, representing 8.2 percent, live in abject poverty as they cannot afford to spend up to GH¢3 a day on food.

“8.2 percent of Ghanaians are extremely poor.  Based on 2017 population projections, 2.4 million people are extremely poor. Putting all their expenditure together, 2.4 million Ghanaians could not afford to spend GH¢2.69 per day in 2016/17 on food (Gh¢982.1 per year),” the report said.

Growth Elasticity of Poverty (GEP), which essentially measures the growth in GDP and its impact on poverty, shows that the country’s growth is not commensurate with reduction in poverty.

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The report indicates a one percent growth in GDP resulted in just a paltry 0.07 percent reduction in poverty rate between 2013 and 2017 – indicating that economic growth in Ghana has become less pro-poor.

From the regional perspective, the three regions of the north—Northern, Upper East, and Upper West—recorded the highest poverty rates. The report adds that 26 percent of all poor persons in Ghana are in the Northern Region.

The Northern Region has over the period contributed to poverty more than any other region. The three northern regions, the report states, contribute more than 40 percent to national poverty. These regions, together with the Volta Region, did not experience consumption growth.

According to the UN, global poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 2000; one in ten people in developing regions are still living with their families on less than the international poverty line of US$1.90 a day; and there are millions more who make little more than this daily amount.

Significant progress has been made in many countries within Eastern and South-eastern Asia, but up to 42 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa continues to live below the poverty line.

The UN estimates that 783 million people live below the international poverty line of US$1.90 a day. In 2016, almost 10 percent of the world’s workers lived with their families on less than US$1.90 per person per day.

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Globally, there are 122 women aged 25 to 34 living in extreme poverty for every 100 men of the same age group. Most people living below the poverty line belong to two regions: Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa

The least developed countries (LDCs) – nations categorised as requiring special attention from the international community – will fall short of goals set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development unless urgent action is taken, new United Nations analysis has revealed.

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