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Jun 30, 2021

In 2018, 52% of Belizeans Were Living in Poverty

Curwen Arthurs

Perhaps the most startling piece of information to emerge in today’s presentation by the Statistical Institute of Belize is that in 2018, a whopping fifty-two percent of Belizeans were living in poverty and spending less than seventy-five hundred dollars annually.  Between 2009 and 2018, poverty in Belize increased by eleven percent, with up to sixty-four thousand Belizean falling into poverty. Unfortunately, the 2018 analysis is a bit outdated, as it does not reflect the impact that COVID-19 has had on poverty in the country. The S.I.B. hopes updated data can be made available for release in a September report.


Curwen Arthurs, Statistician I, SIB

“In 2018, there was two hundred and one thousand, six hundred and sixteen individuals living in poverty. Meaning, about one of every two individual was living in poverty, resulting in a head count ration of fifty two percent. This was a significant increase from the one -hundred and thirty-six thousand, six hundred and forty individuals in 2009.”


Diana Trejo

Diana Trejo, Acting Director General, SIB

“Prior to this study the most recent poverty statistics we have were from 2009, which gives you a much less relevant point of comparison, if we now want to look at measuring poverty now in the middle of the pandemic, or immediately preceding the pandemic. So, I would not say it is irrelevant. We needed something to be the point of comparison if we are to determine how much the pandemic has impacted on living conditions and on poverty.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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