South Africa - Poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (% of population)
Definition: National poverty headcount ratio is the percentage of the population living below the national poverty lines. National estimates are based on population-weighted subgroup estimates from household surveys.
Source: World Bank, Global Poverty Working Group. Data are compiled from official government sources or are computed by World Bank staff using national (i.e. country–specific) poverty lines.
Statistical Concept and Methodology: Poverty headcount ratio among the population is measured based on national (i.e. country-specific) poverty lines. A country may have a unique national poverty line or separate poverty lines for rural and urban areas, or for different geographic areas to reflect differences in the cost of living or sometimes to reflect differences in diets and consumption baskets. Poverty estimates at national poverty lines are computed from household survey data collected from nationally representative samples of households. These data must contain sufficiently detailed information to compute a comprehensive estimate of total household income or consumption (including consumption or income from own production), from which it is possible to construct a correctly weighted distribution of per capita consumption or income. National poverty lines are the benchmark for estimating poverty indicators that are consistent with the country's specific economic and social circumstances. National poverty lines reflect local perceptions of the level and composition of consumption or income needed to be non-poor. The perceived boundary between poor and non-poor typically rises with the average income of a country and thus does not provide a uniform measure for comparing poverty rates across countries. While poverty rates at national poverty lines should not be used for comparing poverty rates across countries, they are appropriate for guiding and monitoring the results of country-specific national poverty reduction strategies. Almost all national poverty lines are anchored to the cost of a food bundle - based on the prevailing national diet of the poor - that provides adequate nutrition for good health and normal activity, plus an allowance for nonfood spending. National poverty lines must be adjusted for inflation between survey years to remain constant in real terms and thus allow for meaningful comparisons of poverty over time. Because diets and consumption baskets change over time, countries periodically recalculate the poverty line based on new survey data. In such cases the new poverty lines should be deflated to obtain comparable poverty estimates from earlier years. The data is based on the two most recent years for which survey data are available. Survey year is the year in which the underlying household survey data were collected or, when the data collection period bridged two calendar years, the year in which most of the data were collected.
General Comments: This series only includes estimates that to the best of our knowledge are reasonably comparable over time for a country. Due to differences in estimation methodologies and poverty lines, estimates should not be compared across countries.
Topic: Poverty Indicators
Sub-Topic: Poverty rates