Income distribution improves

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    The income distribution among families in the Philippines slightly improved in 2018 versus the comparable period in 2015, although data showed that income inequality still varies across the regions.

    According to the results from the 2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), the Gini coefficient, which is a measure of income inequality within the population, was estimated at 0.4267 for 2018. This figure is slightly lower than the 2015 ratio of 0.4438 percent.

    The Gini coefficient ranges from zero to one, with zero indicating perfect income equality among families, and one indicating absolute income inequality.

    According to the FIES data, the income inequality was higher in six regions compared to the average Gini coefficient across the country.

    These are regions II – Cagayan Valley (0.4278), XII – SOCCSKSARGEN (0.4303), XIII – Caraga (0.4383), VII – Central Visayas (0.4425), Cordillera Administrative Region (0.4437), and VIII – Eastern Visayas (0.4457).

    The lowest income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, is in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), at 0.2819. For the National Capital Region, it is also lower than the country average, at 0.3520.

    The PSA also reported that in 2018, Filipino families earned P313,000, on average. In comparison, their expenditure for the same year was on average, P239,000. These figures translate to an average annual savings of P75,000.

    “Adjusting for the inflation between 2015 and 2018, at 2012 prices, the average annual family income in 2018 would be valued at P267,000, while the average annual family expenditure for the same year would be valued at P203,000,” the PSA said.

    The PSA said that the average family income ranged from P113,000 for the first income decile (lowest 10 percent income group) to P867,000 for the 10th decile (highest 10 percent income group).

    “The average annual income of families in the 10th decile was about eight times of those in the first decile, while nine times of those in the first decile in 2015,” the PSA said.

    Across regions, families in the National Capital Region (NCR) had the highest average annual family income at P460,000 in 2018. Families in the ARMM had the lowest average annual income at P161,000.

    Meanwhile, the PSA also reported that the full year 2015 poverty incidence among population, or the proportion of poor Filipinos, was estimated at 23.3 percent, revised from the previously released figure of 21.6 percent.

    This translates to 23.5 million Filipinos (from 21.9 million) who lived below the poverty threshold estimated at P9,452 (from P9,064), on average, for a family of five per month in 2015.

    “Back estimation of the full year 2015 poverty statistics was made due to the following: rebasing of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) market basket prices from 2006 to 2012; and adoption of the 2015 Census of Population results for the weights in the FIES,” PSA said.

    The PSA said that these were incorporated in the 2015 full year poverty estimates for comparability with the full year 2018 official poverty statistics, which will be released today, December 6.