SWS survey: self-rated poverty at new record low

Manila Bulletin
by Ellalyn De Vera
October 13, 2016

The number of Filipino families who considered themselves poor and “food-poor” hit a new record low, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results show.

42 percent of Filipino families—equivalent to 9.4 million families—rated themselves poor in the past three months, based on the nationwide survey conducted last September 24–27 among 1,200 respondents and first published on BusinessWorld.

This is down from 45 percent or about 10.5 million households in the June survey, and the lowest self-rated poverty rate since the survey commenced in April 1983.

The previous record-low, 43 percent, was recorded in March 1987 and March 2010.

The pollster also pointed out that the self-rated poverty result “has been either steady or declining for eight consecutive quarters” as follows:

  • 52 percent in December 2014
  • 51 percent in March 2015 and June 2015
  • 50 percent in September 2015 and December 2015
  • 46 percent in April 2016
  • 45 percent in June 2016, and
  • 42 percent in September 2016.

SWS said there were fewer Filipino families claiming they are poor in the rest of Luzon (from 41 percent to 34 percent) and Mindanao (from 54 percent to 49 percent).

However, self-rated poverty increased in Metro Manila (from 32 percent to 36 percent) and Visayas (from 52 percent to 56 percent).

The same survey found that 30 percent or 6.7 million families considered themselves “food-poor,” compared with 31 percent or an estimated 6.9 million households three months ago.

“Food-poor” means families consider the food they eat as poor.

SWS noted this is slightly lower than the record-low 31 percent reported in April and June 2016.

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