Report Suggests Poor Households Have More Occupants

  The report that follows is a continuation of the past week’s article on poverty and focus on other aspects from the 2013-14 Household Income & Expenditure Survey.   Household
06 Feb 2016 08:30
Report Suggests Poor Households Have More Occupants


The report that follows is a continuation of the past week’s article on poverty and focus on other aspects from the 2013-14 Household Income & Expenditure Survey.


Household Size

Bureau of Statistics reports that poor households tend to have a larger number of occupants which exacerbates the stresses on their already low household incomes.

The average household size of poor households is 5.7 compared to 4.3 for the non-poor.

For a household size of one, poor households records an astounding 0.8 per cent whilst non-poor households records 4.8 per cent.

Close to three quarters (74.7%) of the non-poor households have a household size of five or less compared to slightly over a half (51.8%) for poor households.


Number of rooms

  • A higher percentage of the poor live in 1-room dwellings i.e. 17.4% compared to 12.3% for the non-poor;
  • Slightly over a third of poor households live in dwellings with 2 rooms or less compared to about a quarter for the non-poor population and
  • A higher proportion of non-poor households live in dwellings with 4 rooms or more.


Average Household Size by Number of Rooms

The figures presented in Table 1 below show that overcrowding is more pronounced among the poor, with an average of 5.7 persons living in 1-room dwellings compared to the average of 3.9 persons among the non-poor households.

The average household size of the poor is consistently over a person greater than those of the non-poor.


Age Breakdown and Dependency Ratios

Dependency Ration is an age population ratio of those typically not in the labour force (the dependent part, age groups from 0-14 and 65+) and those typically in the labour force (the productive part, age groups within 15-64).

A look at the dependency ratios of the poor and non-poor populations will indicate the challenging situation faced by the poor population in terms of their support requirements.

Overall, the dependency ration of the poor is 64.4% which is 17.1 percentage points higher than the 47.3% recorded for the non-poor.

The figures show that the poor have a significantly higher proportion of dependent persons compared to the non-poor.  It shows a much greater pressure on the poor’s productive population.

The dependency ration of the rural poor is a significant 14 percentage points higher than that of the urban poor i.e. 69.9% compared to 55.9%.

This means that the situation is more challenging for the rural poor when compared to the poor in urban areas.

There is a significant urban and rural differential in the dependency ratio among the non-poor population as well.

The dependency ratio of the rural non-poor population of 51.5% is 7.2 percentage points higher than the urban non-poor dependency ratio of 44.3%.


Educational Attainment

As expected the educational attainment of the poor is well behind the non-poor.

Only 3.4% of the poor population have attained post-secondary qualifications compared to 12.8% for the non-poor.

This means that the poor will have less prospects/opportunities of securing better paid jobs.

There is close parity in their completion of Secondary School studies while there is a higher percentage of the poor population completing only a primary school level of education.  Further details are in the Table.


Labour Force Participation

The economically active population or the labour force comprises all persons of either sex who furnish the supply of or are available to supply labour for the production of goods and services during a specified time-reference period.

The non-poor labour force participation rate is 57.2% compared to 52.5% for the poor.

The poor have a higher labour force participation rate in the 10-24 age group with the non-poor recording higher labour force participation rate in the remaining age groups with the exception of the age group 70-74.

To conclude, the government in its national budget announcement for 2016 made increases in pivotal areas which will assist the people of Fiji whether it be education, housing, medical.


Budgetary allocations:

  • Housing – Provided a total allocation of $30.8 million to the Department of Housing which is an increase of $3.1 million when compared to the previous year. This is to upgrade and provide resettlement programs for the less fortunate like the Lagilagi Housing Development Project in Raiwasa, an initiative of the People’s Community Network. Not to mention the $5 million allocated to Housing Authority for the Matavolivoli Project, to develop as a subdivision for low and middle income families in Nadi and many more.
  • Pension Scheme – For the Social Pension Scheme, it was allocated $13 million compared to $8 million in 2015.
  • Poverty Benefit Scheme – allocated $22 million which provides food vouchers of $50 a month and a cash payment of $50 a month.
  • Education – allocated $432.2 million to cater for the free education programme currently in place for the primary and secondary level.

nThis is an informative publication, sponsored by The Fiji Sun, Fiji Bureau of Statistics and HFC Bank. All views expressed or implied are purely of the Treasurer at the HFC Bank, Peter Fuata.

Got A News Tip

Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.

By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.