Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let's talk about our Country

Poverty in Sri Lanka continues to be a growing problem despite Sri Lanka being an exceptional country with its life expectancy, literacy rate and other social indicators nearly on par with those of developed countries,

and even topping the rankings for the South Asia region. While all these indicate that Sri Lanka should be experiencing a high standard of living, it is only ranked in the medium category of the Human Development Index.

Head Count Index (HCI) - commonly used to measure poverty incidence in Sri Lanka . The proportion of poor population to total population is defined as Head Count Index and it is generally represented as a percentage.

  • Poverty map of Sri Lanka

  • Unemployment and poverty in Sri Lanka

Even though Sri Lanka is experiencing a high Unemployment rate of 14.4 per cent, according to the World Bank assessment, it is interesting to note that there is lower unemployment rate in the rural sector compared with the urban unemployment rate that has prevailed throughout the past two decades.The survey conducted in the first quarter of 1996 by the Department of Census and Statistics estimated the unemployed population in Sri Lanka (excluding the Northern and Eastern provinces) at 0.71 million, of whom 0.33 million were males and 0.31 million were females. Of the unemployed, 0.11 million resided in the urban sector and 0.6 million resided in the rural sector. The estimated unemployment rates in Sri Lanka by age group also confirm the low incidence of unemployment in the rural sector of Sri Lanka.

  • Reviewing the income of the poor and the non-poor

The mean household income for poor households in Sri Lanka is reported as Rs.11534 per month and at sectoral level the lowest mean income for poor households is reported from estate sector (Rs. 10640). At district level, the mean income for poor households in Kurunegala district is reported as Rs. 9431 which is the lowest mean income for poor households among districts. Table 9.1 also shows that the median household income per month for poor households in Sri Lanka is Rs. 9539, which means half of the poor households in Sri Lanka received less than Rs 9539 per month per household in the year 2006/07. The lowest median income for poor households is reported from Moneragala district among districts. Any income received by all the members of the household from various sources, either in cash or in kind was collected from all sample households. The main income sources used in this survey were wages and salaries, income from agricultural activities(seasonal and non seasonal crops), income from non agricultural activities, other cash income, windfall income, income in kind ( consumed quantities of home grown fruit and vegetables, firewood etc.) and estimated rental value of owner occupied housing units.

  • Educational status of poor

reference- http://www.statistics.gov.lk(Department of Census and Statistics Sri Lanka)

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