Poverty statistics

Poverty continues to be an intractable problem in El Salvador. The most recent statistics avilable about the levels of poverty in the Salvador are from 2003. 36.1% of Salvadorans live in poverty, and 14.4% of Salvadorans live in extreme poverty. The situation is worse in the countryside, where 46.2% of the households fall below the poverty line and 22.1% in extreme poverty. The map above shows the distribution of levels of extreme poverty among the different departments in the country.

The poverty levels have declined since the end of the civil war in 1992, when almost half of all Salvadorans lived in poverty and 27% in extreme poverty. A report from the UCA, points out, however, that perhaps as much as half of this reduction in poverty comes from the remittances sent back into the country by Salvadorans who emigrated to the United States, legally or illegally. Remittances make up as much as a sixth of the Salvadoran economy.

La Prensa reports that the Saca government is preparing an anti-poverty plan which is due to be unveiled on February 28. Such efforts in the past have been marked by a lack of funding and follow through.