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Continued poverty decline in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

After countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia experienced a marked decline in poverty rates at the beginning of the 2000s, there was concern that the 2008 economic crisis might halt or even reverse this trend. However, in most Eastern European and Central Asian countries with poverty data, the decline continued after 2008.

The reduction in poverty rates was particularly steep in countries with rich natural resources, such as Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. In the Republic of Moldova, poverty levels continued to decrease rapidly after 2008 whereas in Belarus and the Russian Federation the decline slowed down. A notable exception is Montenegro, which experienced an increase in poverty rates starting 2008.

The national poverty lines are measured here as the percentage of population living with resources below a pre-established national basic needs subsistence level. These lines are based on local definitions and contexts and not on fixed international thresholds.

 

Figures: Population below basic needs based national poverty line, percentage

Source: UNECE Statistical Database
Notes: Due to availability, 202 data for the Montenegro and Russian Federation refer to 2000; 2013 data for Kazakhstan to 2012. The 2013 figure for the Russian Federation includes the Chechen Republic, which is not included in the 2000 and 2008 figures.