Poverty In Namibia Declines

(AFP) Namibia’s urban population is growing while poverty and inequality have become less glaring, new statistics showed Friday.

According to the latest findings from the 2009-10 national household survey, “37.9% of Namibia’s population lives in urban areas,” up from the 35% registered at the previous survey six years earlier, said government statistician Fanuel Hangula.

The associated change in the rural areas over the same period has seen a drop from 65% to 62.15% of the total population.

Hangula said income inequality, as measured by the gini co-efficient had declined from 0.604 to 0.58. The figure measures inequality on a scale of zero to one, where one indicates maximum inequality.

Namibia had a gini co-efficient of 0.7 when it gained independence from South Africa in 1990, one of the highest in the world.

Average per capita income nearly doubled from N$8 839 to N$16 895.

The survey said the country’s population has grown from 1.83 million people to 2.06 million since the last survey – about half of them under 19.

As in the previous survey, the small German-speaking population – some 10 000 people – had the highest income.

The poorest group remained the Khoisan or Bushmen, numbering roughly 28 000.

The UN recently ranked Namibia 120th out of 187 countries in its Human Development Report, a measure of overall quality of life.

– AFP

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