The number had fallen by one million compared to the number of poor people in March 2010 when it was 31.02 million, BPS Chairman Rusman Heriawan said here on Friday.
He said in the March 2010 - March 2011 period, the number of poor in urban areas decreased by about 51 thousand while in rural areas it dropped by about 953 thousand.
"Although there is an improvement in the overall situation in rural areas, poverty in the agricultural sector remains the highest," Rusman said.
The decrease in number and percentage of poor people in the past year was due to a relatively inflation rate, namely 6.65 percent, while the average daily wages of construction workers rose by 7.14 percent, he said.
In addition, the decrease in the number of poor was also due to an increase in rice production in 2011 to 68.06 million tons of dried unhusked milled rice or up about 2.4 percent from 66.47 million tons the year before.
"The fact that overall economic growth in the first quarter of 2011 reached 6.5 percent also helped decrease (the number of poor people) due to an increase of 4.5 percent in household consumption," the BPS chief said.
Rusman said further that the poverty line in the past year also rose by 10.39 percent from Rp211.726 per capita to Rp233.740 per capita.
"Based on the national description, it means that a poor person only produces approximately Rp8,000 per day," Rusman said.
BPS, according to Rusman, used the same method in assessing the poverty as conducted since 1998 namely by calculating the poverty line on food and non-food and separately calculate the poverty for urban and rural areas.(*)