The proportion of the population living in poverty declined from 66,6% (31,6 million persons) in 2006 to 53,2% (27,3 million) in 2011, but increased to 55,5% (30,4 million) in 2015. The number of persons living in extreme poverty (i.e. persons living below the 2015 Food Poverty Line of R441 per person per month) in South Africa increased by 2,8 million, from 11 million in 2011 to 13,8 million in 2015.
However, this is lower than in 2009 when persons living in extreme poverty were 16,7 million, this is according to the Poverty Trends in South Africa: An examination of absolute poverty between 2006 and 2015 report released by Statistics South Africa today.
The report shows that the most vulnerable to poverty in our society are children (aged 17 or younger), females, Black Africans, people living in rural areas, those residing in Eastern Cape and Limpopo, and persons with little or no education.
The income per capita Gini coefficient (income inequality) has declined from 0,72% in 2006 to 0,68% in 2015; however, there are notable variations amongst various population groups. Black Africans have the highest income inequality with a Gini coefficient of 0,65 in 2015, increasing from 0,64 in 2006. Income inequality amongst whites declined from 0,56 in 2006 to 0,51 in 2015.
The Gini coefficient amongst Coloureds declined from 0,60 in 2006 to 0,58 in 2015. Despite having experienced declines in income inequality in 2009 (0,53) and 2011 (0,50), the Gini coefficient for Indian/Asians was 0,56 for 2006 and 2015.
Issued by: Statistics South Africa