"The number of people living below the poverty line dropped because of low inflation of 1.71 percent in September 2015," head of BPS Suryamin said in an a news conference on Indonesian poverty profile here on Monday.
Another factor contributing to cutting the number of people living in poverty line was the decline in the prices of essential goods in the period of September 2015-March, 2016 like meat of pure bred chicken the price of which dropped from Rp37,742 to Rp36,203.
In addition unemployment rate also declined from 6.18 percent in August 2015 to 5.5 percent in February, 2016, and the pay of farm workers rose 1.75 percent from Rp46,793 per day in September, 2015 to Rp47,559 in March , 2016 on the average, and that of construction workers rose 1.23 percent in the same period to Rp81,481.
In urban areas, the number of people living below the poverty line totaled 10.62 million or 8.22 percent of the total population in September, 2015 down to 10.34 million or 7.79 percent of the total population in March, 2016.
In rural areas, however, the percentage rose slightly from 14.09 percent to 14.11 percent in the same period but declined in number from 17.89 million to 17.67 million.
Meanwhile, the level of poverty line had been raised to Rp354,386 per capita from Rp344,809 denoting that people live below the poverty line when their monthly spending is less than the poverty line.
Each region, however, may have different levels of poverty line depending on the prices of food and non food commodities,Suryamin said.
Nationally, poverty line in urban area is set at Rp364,527 in March 2016 up from Rp356,378 in September 2015.
In rural areas , poverty line also rose 3.19 percent from Rp333,034 per capital in September 2015 to Rp343,646 per capita in March, 2016 .
There are a number of provinces where poverty line in rural areas is higher than in urban areas because of higher price development in rural areas.
The provinces recording higher poverty line in rural areas in March 2016, include Bangka Belitung, Central Java, East Java, Central Kalimantan, North Sulawesi , West Sulawesi and Maluku.
The rural people may be more prosperous as distribution of goods from rural to urban areas would need high margin resulting in higher prices
"Perhaps the reason is that distribution of goods from urban to rural areas need the trade margin that the prices and inflation are higher in rural areas," Suryamin said.(*)