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Rosstat: Poverty rate in Russia drops to lowest level seen since 2014

Source: Rosstat

At the end of 2020, 17.8 million people in Russia were living below the poverty line, according to preliminary estimates from the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat).

This equates to 12.1 percent of the country’s population — meaning the poverty rate went down 0.2 percentage points (or, by 300,000 people) compared to 2019, according to Rosstat’s website. RBC writes that this is the lowest poverty rate Russia has seen since 2014, when 11.3 percent of the population was living below the poverty line.

According to Rosstat’s estimates, in the fourth quarter of 2020, 13.5 million people in Russia, or 9.2 percent of the population, had incomes below the subsistence level. Compared to last year’s third quarter, the number of people living in poverty decreased by 5.3 million (or by 3.6 percentage points) — from 18.8 million to 13.5 million people.

Rosstat linked the decline in poverty to an increase in the population’s average per capita monetary income, average monthly nominal wages, and old-age pensions.

The subsistence minimum dropped to 11,329 rubles ($148) during the fourth quarter of 2020, compared to 11,606 rubles (about $152) in the third quarter.

Experts from Moscow’s Higher School of Economics found that in 2020, the number of families without children living below the poverty line grew more than two-fold during the coronavirus pandemic — from 3.8 percent to 8.3 percent. Families with children saw little change in their financial situation due to financial support from the state.

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