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SWS: Lesser families say they’re poor

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The First Quarter 2019 Social Weather Survey (SWS), covering the period March 28 to 31, showed a new record-low 38 percent (about 9.5 million) of families considering themselves poor.

It eclipsed the previous record-low of 42% on September 2016 and March 2018 while falling 12 points below the 50% (about 11.6 million) result in December 2018.

The survey also set a new record-low 27% (about 6.8 million) of families rating their food as poor―or 7 points below the 34% (about 7.9 million) on December 2018, and 2 points below the previous record-low of 29%.

The new record-low proportion of Self-Rated Food Poor families comes after the recovery from the 7-point increase in Self-Rated Food Poverty in the first three quarters of 2018. The proportion of Self-Rated Food Poor families was at 29% in March 2018. It rose by 5 points to 34% in June, and by 2 points to 36% in September. It decreased by 2 points to 34% in December before falling to 27% in March 2019.

The March 2019 survey found that of the 62% Self-Rated Non-Poor families, a record-high 15% used to be poor 1-4 years ago (“newly non-poor”), and a record-high 20% used to be poor five or more years ago (“usually non-poor”). The remaining 26% have never experienced poverty (“always non-poor”)

The survey also found that of the 38% Self-Rated Poor families, 6% used to be non-poor 1-4 years ago (“newly poor”), and 6% used to be non-poor five or more years ago (“usually poor”). The remaining 26%, or about three out of four poor families, have never experienced being non-poor (“always poor”).

The March 2019 Social Weather Survey was conducted using personal interviews of 1,440 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 360 each in Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±2.6% for national percentages, and ±5% each for Balance Luzon, Metro Manila, Visayas and Mindanao).  (SWS.org.ph)

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