More than 36,000 people in Bali fell under the poverty line during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the province’s rate rose to 4.53 percent in the last year.
The new figures from March 2021 showed a 0.75 percent increase compared to March of last year, when the poverty rate stood at 3.78 percent, as revealed by the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) in Bali this week.
This translates to nearly 202,000 people out of Bali’s total population of 4.32 million earning less than IDR 452,221 (US$31.21) per month.
BPS Bali Chief Hanif Yahya pointed to several factors that had contributed to the increase, such as inflation, negative growth, as well as the higher unemployment rate in Bali, the last of which stood at 5.42 percent as of February.
However, Hanif noted that Bali is still faring better in this regard compared to other regions in Indonesia.
“The poverty rate in Bali is still below the national average, which is at 10.14 percent. The [provincial] increase is still relatively low, and Bali remains the province with the lowest poverty rate as of March 2021,” Hanif said during a virtual press conference.
According to the latest data, Papua is the poorest province in Indonesia, where 26.86 percent of its population is categorized as poor. West Papua and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) trail closely behind at 21.84 percent and 20.99 percent, respectively.