National poverty line stands at Rs. 4580

The official poverty line at the national level for January 2018 is Rs. 4580, according to the Department of Statistics.

The poverty line is the minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill the basic needs and the Colombo District has the highest poverty line of Rs 4972 while Moneragala has the lowest poverty line of Rs 4313. The figure for Gampaha is Rs 4821 and Rs 4477 for Jaffna.

Excluding the Northern and Eastern provinces, headcount poverty fell from 22.7 percent to 6.1 percent between 2002 and 2012/13. In that same period, extreme poverty in Sri Lanka decreased from 13 percent to less than 3 percent in 2012/13— lower than many of Sri Lanka’s neighbours, other post-conflict countries, and other comparable countries. According to the World bank ‘the poor and near-poor in the Estate sector are mainly young, Hindu Tamils, working in tea estates in the agriculture sector, and living in free housing units provided by estate owners. Monetary poverty rates in the Estate sector saw a steep decline, from 28 percent in 2006 to around 10 percent in 2009/10 and 2012/13.’

The poverty line for Nuwara Eliya and Badulla where a substantial number of estate sector workers live is Rs 4872 and Rs 4488 respectively.

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