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Report shows Muchinga Province houses poorest Zambians, as statistics agency unveils data


Zambia has continued to experience extreme poverty with the vice affecting a majority of people in rural areas, a report by the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats) has established.

The 2022 poverty assessment in Zambia report conducted by the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZamStats) together with its partners and released on Saturday indicated that extreme poverty in Zambia increased in 2022 from 2015, with rural areas continuing to be more affected.

Although poverty levels were already high, results generally show that poverty had increased between 2015 and 2022.

Muchinga province had the highest proportion of the population that was poor at 82.6 percent, followed by Western and Northern provinces, with Lusaka (27 percent) and Copperbelt (35.9 percent), having the least poverty levels though higher than in 2015.

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The report pointed out Muchinga, Western, Northern, Luapula and Eastern provinces to have continued to experience higher levels of poverty.

By province, except for Western and Northern provinces where extreme poverty levels dropped by 11.4 and 2.3 percentage points, respectively, extreme poverty in the rest of the provinces increased by a minimum of 2.1 percentage-points in Luapula Province to as high an increase as 18.7 percentage points in Muchinga Province.

Thus, only Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces had extreme poverty levels that were both below the national averages as reflected.

By province, results show that poverty levels have gone slightly down in North-western at 61.6 percent from 66.4 percent, Luapula at 77.3 percent from 81.1 percent, Western at 78.6 percent from 82.6 percent and Northern at 78.0 percent from 79.7 percent.

“By province, Muchinga (46.9 percent), Luapula (40.7 percent), both Northern (38.9 percent) and Western (38.9 percent) provinces had the largest proportions of households that were living below the poverty line in 2022 compared to Western (47.7 percent), Luapula (45.4 percent) and Northern (45.2 percent) provinces in 2015,” according to the results.

The report also highlighted that poverty had continued to be more of a rural phenomenon than urban although the urban population was now being impacted more than their rural counterparts.

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