Posted 9 декабря 2022,, 07:00

Published 9 декабря 2022,, 07:00

Modified 26 декабря 2022,, 11:07

Updated 26 декабря 2022,, 11:07

Figure of the day: according to new data, one-fifth of Russia's population lives in poverty

9 декабря 2022, 07:00
In 2022, 28.9 million or 19.9% of Russians spent less than the average annual poverty line on food, other goods and services.

The fight against poverty is a priority task, the president noted at the last meeting with members of the government, but at the same time he lamented the imperfection of the statistical methods for its assessment. “People determine their well-being not by statistics, but by the amount of money in their pocket,” Putin stressed. Well, how are things really?

Russians are eating less

Finanz channel experts come to this conclusion after examining the data of the November VTsIOM poll. Russian consumers are tightening their belts amid falling real disposable incomes, which quadrupled in the third quarter, from 0.8% to 3.2%.

Citizens' spending on food has been declining for the seventh month in a row, and the pace of this decline is getting faster: 1.7% in April, more than 2% in summer, 3.5% in September and 4.3% in October.

One in three people in three have started saving on food since the start of the SMO, the survey showed. And although Rosstat reports that inflation is slowing down, the purchasing power of Russian citizens continues to fall in 17 out of 24 basic food products. According to the results of January-September, the average income could buy 91.4 kg of beef against 97.6 kg a year ago. For 9 months, the Russians became poorer by 19.3 liters of milk, 166.7 kg of sugar and 264 kg of salt.

It's time to start shelves for the poor

Political scientist Ilya Grashchenkov comments on these data in the following way:

“As in a joke: dad, will you drink less? No, son, you will eat less. But it is precisely the blow to basic human needs - nutrition and protection, that causes the very anxiety among the population, which has gone off scale for the third month in a row. Of course, reducing the portion of rice or buckwheat is not yet the Chinese scenario of the times of Mao with a “handful of rice”, but already a tangible slide of the population below the poverty line. Propagandists will say that "they have cat food there in the West" they are already eating hungry, but this will be a distraction from the real internal problem. Actually, such dynamics with rising prices and falling incomes will inevitably lead to the impoverishment of a significant part of the citizens, which means that it will make the issue of introducing food stamps like food cards again relevant. The authorities moved away from this unpleasant association with the late Soviet deficit for as long as possible, but if it was decided to build the USSR 2.0, then they will have to come to terms with the way of life that this scenario suggests. At the very least, the appearance of "shelves for the poor" is becoming relevant, where food products from the same borscht set promised by the party in power in the last elections will be sold. It is logical that access to these shelves should also be limited and distributed among the most affected social groups..."

Poor life in 2022 was among 20℅ Russians

For their part, analysts of the channel “Equality. Media” conducted an analysis of how poverty is considered in Russia. It turned out that if we compare the minimum consumer basket not with income, but with expenses, then there are 2 times more poor people in the country than officially. In short, here's what it's about.

Consumption below the poverty line in 2022 was 28.9 million, or 19.9% of Russians. These are those whose expenses for food, other goods and services were less than the average for the year poverty line of 13,535 rubles, Equality estimated according to Rosstat. Officially in Russia in the 3rd quarter. there were 15.3 million poor (10.5% of the population), as the president recently reported. For the whole of 2022, it will be about 10.7%. Rosstat considers Russians with incomes below the consumer minimum as poor. It, in turn, is calculated as follows: the minimum basket for 4 sq. 2020 and indexed for inflation. At the same time, the basket is calculated based on a set of specific products, the cost of which is simply multiplied by 2: it is assumed that there will be enough for other goods and services as much as for products. Although the ratio of 50%:25%:25% is rather critical than normal, as it is typical for the most disadvantaged. But the main drawback of the methodology is different. Income is not what a person actually spends on consumption, because must pay taxes, contributions, interest on loans, repay debts, save something.

Comparison of the minimum basket with consumption expenditures shows that there are twice as many poor people in the country. If we consider poverty in food consumption, then less than 6,767 rubles. 23.3% of Russians ate. This is 2.2% less than a year earlier. In recent years, although poverty has been falling, it has not reached the level of 2012. The consumption of the poorest 10% of Russians in 2022 was only 8,500 rubles, while that of the rich 10% in the ninth decile (excluding the super-rich 10%) is 72,200 rub., 8.5 times more. In 2021, the gap was 8 times, that is, it has increased. As follows from the rating of regions of the Russian Federation, the lowest consumer spending relative to the minimum basket in the first half of 2022 was in Chukotka (0.84), in the Nenets Autonomous District (0.86), where the living wage is high, and consumer spending not so high. Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Tuva and Buryatia are also outsiders, where the cost per family member barely reaches the subsistence level. The leaders are St. Petersburg (2.51), Moscow (2.36), Primorsky Krai (1.94).

How to calculate the real poverty rate in a country

1) Officially, those Russians who have cash incomes below the poverty line are considered poor, follows from the methodology. In 2021, there were 16.1 million of them in Russia (11% of the population), and by the end of 2022 there will be an estimated 15.5 million (10.7%).

The poverty line is the cost of the minimum consumer basket for 4 square meters. 2020 (plus working-age population taxes), indexed to inflation. So, in Jan.-Sept. In 2022, it was 13,472 rubles, and by the end of 2022 it may amount to 13,535 rubles.

The consumer basket is a set of products necessary for survival, as well as non-food products and services. There is a specific list for products, but not for other goods and services. More precisely, it was until 2013. Then the government decided to evaluate this part of the basket more ingeniously: the grocery set is simply multiplied by 2. That is, out of 13,535 rubles. baskets, where 6768 rubles. - products, for the purchase of non-food items it is necessary to meet 3384 rubles. and services - also at 3384 rubles.

Such a structure of 50%:25%:25% is not the norm, but is characteristic of the 10% most disadvantaged, which obviously underestimates the cost of living. On average, Russians spend 36% of their budget on food, 34% on other goods, and 30% on services.

2) Since 2021, the government has made the poverty assessment even more abstract. Now they do not count at least once a quarter, but take a basket for 4 square meters. 2020 and index it to inflation. That is, if the rise in prices for goods that the poor often buy is higher than inflation, then the number of the poor will be underestimated.

3) Rosstat compares the poverty line with income. The first approach to their calculation is macroeconomic (according to organizations' reports on paid pensions, salaries, benefits, etc.). Further, according to special formulas, the distribution of the population by income is already estimated, incl. the number of poor families.

The average per capita cash income of Russians for 9 months. 2022 amounted to 42,211 rubles, and by the end of the year it may be 45,400 rubles. Of these, 15% (6,810 rubles) Russians spent on taxes and other obligatory payments, and 4.9% - an increase in savings. 80.2%, or 36,412 rubles, went to the purchase of goods and services.

Another approach to income calculation is implemented through sample household surveys based on quarterly surveys of 48,000 people. The methodology for calculating indicators here is different, microeconomic, in which data on households are extrapolated to the entire population. According to them, in 2022 the disposable resources of households in H1 2022 were 33,892, and by the end of the year they will amount to 37,100 rubles, of which 25,560 rubles. went to consumption. As you can see, the difference is almost 11,000 rubles.

In the first case, the income is rather overestimated. Part of the money ends up in the shadow circulation or abroad, in which the rich are more successful, which means that part of the funds accounted for macroeconomically are distributed unevenly.

In the second variant, income, on the contrary, is underestimated, because the richest are less represented in the sample. “The survey did not affect millionaires,” the statistics department admitted. The distribution of the 10% groups in the two approaches is balanced by the exclusion of about 9.5% of the richest, for which an adjustment is made.

4) So, on average, 90% of households (without the rich) spent 25,564 rubles in 2022. for 1 person, of which 9232 rubles. went to food, 8755 - other goods, 7577 - services. Another 11,536 went to taxes, non-consumer spending (contributions, gifts, debts) and savings.

The level of poverty can be estimated using Rosstat data on expenditures for 10% groups of the population. Taking into account the reservation that the results of the Rosstat survey are more correctly interpreted as obtained in relation to 90% of the population without the rich, the number of the poor can be estimated at least at 19.9%. That is, less than the subsistence minimum of 13,535 rubles. in 2022, 28.9 million Russians consumed. In particular, less than 6768 rubles. 23.3% of families (33.9 million people) had a food basket.

5) Compared to 2021, the level of poverty in terms of consumption expenditures remained the same. On the one hand, incomes have grown significantly more than the rise in food prices, on the other hand, import goods have risen in price significantly, and the population has begun to save more.

The poorest people live in Chukotka, Buryatia, Tyva and the Caucasus

The ratio of household spending to the minimum consumer basket was 1.70 times in the first half of 2022, Ravenstvo estimated according to Rosstat. The subsistence minimum amounted to an average of 13,392 rubles, while consumption costs - 22,761 rubles. Compared to the first half of 2021, the ratio remained almost unchanged (it was 1.69).

The lowest consumer spending was in Chukotka (0.84), in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (0.86), where the subsistence minimum is high, and consumer spending by people in the locality is not so high. Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Tuva and Buryatia are also outsiders, where the cost per family member barely reaches the subsistence level. The leaders are St. Petersburg (2.51), Moscow (2.36), Primorsky Krai (1.94).

The ratio of consumption spending to the minimum consumer basket in 1 h 2022, times

  1. St. Petersburg - 2.51
  2. Moscow - 2.36
  3. Primorsky Krai -1.94
  4. Kursk region – 1.91
  5. Lipetsk region – 1.90
  6. Belgorod region – 1.89
  7. Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug - 1.87
  8. Arkhangelsk region – 1.84
  9. Bashkiria -1.79
  10. Tatarstan - 1.79

Russia - 1.70

  1. Jewish Autonomous Region - 1.19
  2. Altai - 1.17
  3. Kalmykia - 1.09
  4. Chechnya - 1.09
  5. Tuva - 1.01
  6. Buryatia - 1.00
  7. Kabardino-Balkaria - 0.89
  8. Ingushetia - 0.88
  9. Nenets Autonomous District - 0.86
  10. Chukotka Autonomous Okrug - 0.84

If we compare the minimum basket with consumption expenditures, then, as the Equality assessment showed, in 2022, 19.9% of Russians were below the poverty line.

The consumption of the poorest 10% of Russians in 2022 was only 8,500 rubles, while that of the rich 10% in the ninth decile (excluding the super-rich 10%) was 72,200 rubles, 8.5 times more. In 2021, the gap was 8 times, that is, it has increased.

Since the subsistence minimum means a physiological minimum, it is more correct to consider it as the border not of poverty, but of poverty. That is, 19.9 million people in 2022 should rather be considered not poor, but beggars.

However, this thesis is not indisputable. According to a survey by Rosstat of households, only 0.2% of Russians in the 2nd quarter. In 2022, there was not enough money even for food, and 13.4% were enough for food, but there was no money for the rest: clothes, utility bills, etc. In 2 sq. In 2021, there were fewer such problems - 12.7% of families.