Low-Income Venezuelans Amount to 85 Percent of Population

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

While Venezuela is ranked among the Latin American and Caribbean countries with the largest revenues, 85 percent of its population lives in relative poverty, according to the report “The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid,” prepared by the World Bank and the World Resources Institute and released on March 19th.

The report, based on income data from 110 countries, focuses on the 4 billion people worldwide earning less than USD 3,000 per year.

The document stresses that in Venezuela there are 21.4 million people living in relative poverty, i.e. they are at the “base of the economic pyramid,” and they represent 57.9 percent of total Venezuelan domestic income.

The percentage of low-income consumers in Venezuela matches that in countries significantly less wealthy in the hemisphere such as Honduras, Jamaica, Guatemala or Suriname. Venezuela is only ranked above nations such as Haiti, Ecuador or Bolivia, where the base of the pyramid comprises 90 percent of the population or more.

In average, low-income population in Latin America amounts to 69.9 percent of inhabitants.

The countries in the region that climbed the top positions in the World Bank ranking are Chile, where the base of the pyramid comprises 55 percent of population, and Costa Rica, with 60 percent.

It is noteworthy to mention the cases of Argentina and Uruguay, where low-income consumers represent 45 percent of the population, but it refers only to urban population, the report added.

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Source: El Universal (link opens in a new window)