fmtJuly 10, 2020 3:21 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s poverty line has been revised to RM2,208 from RM980, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) said.

The poverty line, based on the basic requirements for a household to live healthily and actively, is according to 2019 methodology, the department said.

Previously, it was calculated according to the 2005 methodology, which benchmarked poverty at RM980.

Chief statistician Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the revision was in accordance with current needs that emphasise optimal food intake and quality non-food basic requirements.

In the department’s Household Income and Basic Amenities Survey Report and Household Expenditure Survey Report 2019 released today, it said the incidence of absolute poverty improved from 7.6% in 2016 to 5.6% in 2019, and hardcore poverty was at 0.4% in 2019 compared to 0.6% in 2016.

The Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality or wealth inequality within a nation, increased by 0.008 index points from 0.399 in 2016 to 0.407 in 2019, which showed that the household income gap is widening, it said.

Uzir said median income grew moderately at 3.9% per year to RM5,873 in 2019, while mean income increased by 4.2% per year to RM7,901.

Seven states had median income above the national level, while three states recorded mean income higher than the national level of RM7,901. Mean household expenditure expanded by 3.9% in 2019.

He said the household expenditure survey showed that demand for the services sector was increasing.

The patterns of household consumption expenditure remained, headed by housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (23.6%), food and non-alcoholic beverages (17.3%), restaurants and hotels (13.9%) and transport (13.5%).