Head of Statistics Indonesia (BPS) Suryamin announced on Tuesday (01/07) that the number of poor people in Indonesia declined slightly to 28.28 million people (or 11.25 percent of the total population) in March 2014, from 28.60 million (11.46 percent of the total population) in September 2013. However, compared to March last year, poverty has increased by 110,000 people due to high inflation and a slowing economy; economic growth slowed to 5.78 percent in 2013 and this decline continued to 5.21 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
Statistical data about Indonesia’s poverty rate are released twice per year, covering the months of March and September.
Suryamin said there are four reasons that explain the slight decline in number and percentage of poor people in Indonesia between September 2013 and March 2014. Firstly, inflationary pressures in this period were relatively low at approximately 2.31 percent.
Secondly, there has been a 4.52 percent nominally average wage increase for farmers in this six-month period. In September 2013, the average wage for an Indonesian farmer was IDR 42,217 (USD $3.58) per day. This increased to an average of IDR 44,125 (USD $3.74) per day in March 2014. Meanwhile, the average wage of a construction worker rose from IDR 74,414 (USD $6.31) per day in September 2013 to IDR 75,961 (USD $6.44) in March 2014 (a 2.08 percentage point growth).
Thirdly, the retail price of several staple commodities decreased (including chicken meat, sugar, red pepper, and eggs) in the aforementioned period.
Lastly, an improvement in farmers’ income occurred based on the Farmer's Exchange Rate (NTP); from 101,24 in September 2013 to 101,86 in March 2014.
The table below shows that poverty in Indonesia has been declining steadily in the last decade.
Poverty in Indonesia 2005-2014:
(% of population)
Sources: World Bank and Statistics Indonesia