BULAWAYO — Over 60 percent of Zimbabweans are living in poverty while the few employed are earning way below the poverty datum line pegged at over US$500, a recent study has shown. Poor households in Zimbabwe are characterised by high dependency ratios, and on average, older heads of households are associated with higher prevalence of poverty than younger heads of households, according to the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (ZIMSTAT) Poverty, Income, Consumption and Expenditure Survey 2011-2012 report.
The report, released this month, said 62,6 percent of the country’s households are deemed poor.
“The analysis of poverty reveals that poverty is far worse in rural areas than in urban areas of Zimbabwe,” reads the report.
“It is also observed that 62,6 percent of Zimbabwean households are deemed poor whilst 16,2 percent of the households are in extreme poverty.”
The report states that 76 percent of the rural households are poor compared to 38,2 percent in urban areas also an indication that 30,4 percent of rural people in Zimbabwe are “extremely poor” compared to only 5,6 percent in urban areas.
Matabeleland North province has the highest percentage of 81,7 percent of households in poverty; extreme poverty in the province is at 36,9 percent.
“It is observed that 31,9 percent of the adults 18 years and above in Zimbabwe depend on salaries and wages as their main sources of income while the majority of the persons in Zimbabwe (48,4 percent) state that sale of own agricultural produce is their main source of income,” said the report.
IT states that the average annual gross primary income in Zimbabwe is US$3,580 with the average annual gross income for males in Zimbabwe pegged at US$3,759 compared to US$3,194 for females.
“The persons with the highest primary income for both sexes are managers earning an average annual gross income of US$10,586 followed by technicians and associate professionals earning an average annual gross primary income of US$6,229,” the report said.
The report elaborates that 76,8 percent of the employed persons in Zimbabwe earn gross monthly primary incomes of less than US$350 while only 4,3 percent of the employed persons earn gross monthly primary incomes of above US$800.
In general for employed males earn more than females in both rural and urban areas,” said the report.
The report also states that some Zimbabweans are surviving from remittances from the relatives in the Diaspora who fled the country between 2000 and 2008 economic hardships.
The total amount of remittances to Zimbabwe from abroad, according to the report is US$319 million per year.
Households residing in urban areas receive the largest share of the remittances from abroad amounting to US$252,9 million.
“These remittances constitute 79,3 percent of the total remittances from abroad. Households residing in rural areas receive US$66,2 million constituting 20,7 percent of the total remittances,” reads the report. On average the households are receiving remittances from abroad amounting to US$2, 269 per annum which translates to US$189,1 per month.