Iran Economy NewsIran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

Iran: 60% Of Population Is Poor

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The livelihood baskets of the Iranian people are shrinking dramatically. This, in turn, has introduced new concerns to protect the health of people in society’s low-income and middle classes.

For more than four decades, inflation in Iran has raised levels of poverty and led to an increase in the prices of food, clothing, and other consumer and capital goods. Today, these issues have become the norm the daily life of the Iranian people. And near-zero economic growth has only intensified this situation.

After housing, the second biggest household expense is the cost of food. According to a report from the Iranian regime’s statistics centre, the price of food and beverages in December 2022 increased by 63.6 percent, compared to December 2021.

In 2022, around 26.7 percent of the total expenses of urban households were related to food expenses. Around seven food products, that are very important in the household food basket (such as oil and rice), increased in price by more than 100 percent. A further 19 other food products, which mainly included dairy and meat products, faced a 50 to 100 percent price increase last year.

Recently, the World Bank published a list of the top 10 countries that currently have a food security crisis caused by inflation, with Iran placing seventh place on the list.

The population living below the poverty line is a topic that is being discussed among the regime’s experts. They are warning regime officials that the continuation of this situation will only stoke the ongoing protests because of the expansion of a starving nation.

According to published official statistics, back in 1979, when the Iranian regime first came to power, about 20 percent of Iran’s population was below the poverty line, but this statistic began to rise in the following years. According to the latest report of the regime’s Statistics Center in 2021, the population of the poor reached about 52 percent, and in 2022 this has risen to 60 percent.

In the recent report from the regime’s Ministry of Labor, the poverty line for Tehran and similar large cities was set at about 145 million rials ($370) per household. For cities and villages, this figure was half of this amount, averaging 77 million rials ($185).

Many of the regime’s experts are criticizing the government’s calculations, stating that the real poverty line is much higher at around 180 million rials or even more.

The whopping gap between the minimum income of people above the poverty line in Tehran and other cities and marginal places, of course, considering the fixed prices of food, clothing, transportation, and health, is strange to a great extent.

The discrimination in determining the minimum wage in the coming year (Persian Calendar) will intensify labour migration and the evacuation of small cities and villages. The current crisis of marginalization and people living in the slums of big cities will only lead to a super crisis, increasing economic and social damages.

All the while, many workers are now receiving even lower wages, an issue that itself has affected the general poverty line.

The absolute poverty line is for those who are forced to work more than the allowed limit to escape poverty but are still in the poverty trap. Some work 16 hours a day in two or three shifts, but they still cannot free themselves from the savage poverty. The absolute poverty line is also causing other great issues among Iran’s population, such as malnutrition and other acute economic problems and anomalies.

Employees and workers who have a relatively fixed income constitute the largest population of people below the poverty line in the country. 57 percent of the country’s wage earners are minimum wage earners, who currently receive between 50 to 70 million rials. Out of two hundred countries in the world, Iran ranks 183 in terms of the ratio of wages and expenses.

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