Poverty and critical or extreme poverty in Venezuela since 1998 as measured by the Social Studies Institute of Catholic University (UCAB) or the National Institute for Statistics. Poverty is defined as having an income less than the basic basket of goods for consumption. Extreme or critical poverty are defined when the income is less than the basket of foodstuffs, which in the case of the National Institute for Statistics is exactly 50% of the other one.
The differences between the two sets of data up to 2004 were mostly methodological, with UCAB using the CPI as calculated by the Central Bank and INE using its own measure for food inflation and multiplying it by two to obtain the general index. The data for 2005 from INE has been questioned, since it is so inconsistent with that of UCAB and the Head of INE talked about changes in methodology without specifying them. The 2006 data should illuminate the difference, since food inflation, which is what INE uses was 26%, compared with 17% for the general index, thus the INE change in 2006 should be larger than that of UCAB’s due to the methodology. In the 1970’s poverty had a historical low of 22% and critical poverty of 6%.
Source INE and UCAB in Policies for Social Inclusion by Luis Pedro Espana in “Un Acuerdo para alcanzar el desarrollo” page 81, Publicaciones UCAB (2006)