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GDP per Capita (2016) US$ 2,879.07
GDP Growth rate (2016)  7.99%
Population Poverty Rate (2017) 8.2%
General Literacy Rate (2017) 71.4%
Youth Literacy Rate (2017) 93.1%
Household with Improved Sanitation Facilities (2017) 74.8%
Disability Prevalence Rate (2017) 2.1%
Population Access to Improved Water Sources (2017) 98.6%
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Hon’ble Prime Minister, H.E Lyonchen Dasho Tshering Tobgay launches the Bhutan Living Standards Survey (BLSS) Report 2017 and Poverty Analysis Report 2017

PRESS RELEASE

Launch of 2017 Bhutan Living Standards Survey Report

&

2017 Poverty Analysis Report

 

The Hon’ble Prime Minister, H.E Lyonchen Dasho Tshering Tobgay launched the Bhutan Living Standards Survey (BLSS) Report 2017 and Poverty Analysis Report 2017.

The National Statistics Bureau (NSB) conducted the Bhutan Living Standard Survey (BLSS) 2017 in the month of March and April, 2017 with financial and technical support from the World Bank. The BLSS 2017 is the fourth in the series and followed the Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS) methodology developed by the researchers at the World Bank.

BLSS Report 2017

BLSS Report 2017 provides the latest information on demographics, education, health, employment, housing, income, asset ownership, public facilities, access to services, credit, and self-rate poverty and happiness.

The BLSS shows improvement in access to improved water sources and sanitation facility. In Bhutan almost all (99.5%) households have access to improved water sources. About 92% of households in Bhutan have access to improved sanitation facility. Further, the majority of the households (97%) have access to mobile phones in Bhutan.

The BLSS reveals the country’s unemployment rate in 2017 is estimated at 2.0%, compared to 2.7% in 2012. The unemployment remains an urban phenomenon with unemployment rate of 4.6% compared to only 0.8% in rural areas.  The survey shows that vast majority of women (94% to be specific) gave birth in a hospital or health facility in the past 12 months preceding the survey. However, BLSS 2012 shows that institutional delivery was only 77%. The mean monthly household expenditure in 2017 is Nu. 33,542 compared to Nu. 18,367 in 2012. This indicates that Bhutanese households on average have increased the consumption power (in nominal terms) by 82% in last 5 years. 

The BLSS 2017 was conducted to provide the Government with data for socio economic policy and planning, particularly for the formulation of future poverty reduction policies and strategies.

Poverty Analysis Report 2017

A more comprehensive picture of poverty in Bhutan down to the Dzongkhag and thromde levels was obtained through the analysis of consumption expenditure data and other poverty related indicators from the BLSS 2017.

It is estimated that 8.2% of the population is found to be poor. Poor persons are those belonging to households with per capita consumption short of the minimum cost of satisfying the country’s poverty line (set at Nu. 2,195.95 per person per month with estimated food and non-food requirements of Nu. 1,473.45 and Nu. 722.50 respectively).

The analysis shows that poverty is still a rural phenomenon with poverty rate of 11.9% compared to only 0.7% in urban areas. Only 1.5% of the population is subsistence poor (i.e., persons belonging to households with per capita consumption below food requirements).

Poverty rates are found to be high in Dagana, Zhemgang, Monggar, Trongsa, and Pema Gatshel. However, Haa, Thimphu and Paro have the least poverty rates. The four Thromdes: Phuentsholong Thromde, Samdrup Jongkhar Thromde, Geelphu Thromde and Thimphu Thromde  have lower poverty rates (at most 1%).

The poverty line, the minimum acceptable standard of per capita consumption needed to assure a minimum standard of living, is obtained using the Cost of Basic Needs (CBN) approach, a commonly used methodology in many countries for constructing the poverty line. This approach estimates the food component of the poverty line as the cost of a food bundle attaining a pre-determined minimum food energy requirement (of 2,124 Kcal per person per day), and then adds some non-food requirements to the food component in order to yield the total poverty line.

While understanding drivers of poverty reduction requires extensive data analyses, our preliminary analyses show that most of the poverty reduction between 2012 and 2017 was due to increasing nonfood consumption with no major change in food consumption patterns. For example, surveyed households on average spend more on transportation, clothing, and recreation in 2017, compared to 2012, after adjusting for inflation.

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Dec 13, 2017    News    sonam    1608 views