287,000 Panamanians live in extreme poverty – Report

2,037Views 0Comments Posted 04/12/2023


The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reports that in Panama the percentage of people in poverty went from 15.6%  in 2021 to 14.3%, which is equivalent to 630,000 people persisting in this situation, above the 618,000 who were in poverty in 2019, before the health crisis.

The number of people in extreme poverty increased from a rate of 5.7% in to 6.6% in 2022, which means that 287,000 are in extreme poverty. When adding the population in poverty with those in extreme poverty, which are two different groups, it gives a total of 917 thousand people with vulnerabilities from a social and economic point of view.

ECLAC describes that on average a family in Panama with five members with a monthly household income of less than 330 dollars is in extreme poverty.

If the income is greater than $330 per month, but less than $630.5, the household is in a situation of poverty (not extreme). And if the household income exceeds $630.5, the household will be out of poverty.

Households in extreme poverty with an income of less than $330 per month are made up of 287.000 Panamanians who cannot even buy the basic food basket. They barely have enough to buy some food.

In Panama, two basic food baskets are measured, that of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), which in June of this year, according to the last update, cost $345.83, while that of the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of the Competition (Acodeco) which has three ranges: last September it was at $326.75, the most expensive; $291.18, the average and the cheapest was $271.16.

The food baskets do not include items for personal use and household cleaning. They also do not consider the cost of drinking water, electricity, housing, education, and health services, which are expenses that households normally incur.