Malaysia Revises Its Poverty Line Income To RM2,208

Previously, the Poverty Line Income was benchmarked at RM980.

Cover image via Aizuddin Saad/New Straits Times

The Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM) today, 10 July, announced that Malaysia's Poverty Line Income (PLI) has been revised

The new PLI is now RM2,208, based on the calculations from the 2019 methodology.

Previously, under the 2005 methodology, the PLI was benchmarked at RM980, based on the basic requirements for a household to live healthily and actively, according to a report in Bernama today.

In the report, DoSM chief statistician Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said that the PLI revision was in accordance with current needs that emphasise optimal food intake and quality non-food basic requirements.

According to DoSM, the median income in Malaysia grew by 3.9% per year in 2019 as compared to 6.6% in 2016. Moreover, the mean income rose at 4.2% in 2019.

There has been an increase in the median household income in both urban and rural areas.

"Meanwhile, hardcore poverty recorded 0.4% in 2019 as compared to 0.6% in 2016," Mohd Uzir said in the DoSM statement, which was issued in conjunction with the launch of the department's Household Income & Basic Amenities Survey Report 2019 and Household Expenditure Survey Report 2019 today.

The new mean PLI value was obtained by dividing overall PLI value in each household with the total number of households in the country

"The incidence of overall absolute poverty improved from 7.61% in 2016 to 5.6%. Similarly, the incidence of absolute poverty in urban and rural also recorded a decrease to 3.8% and 12.4%, respectively," Mohd Uzir said, adding that the percentage of occupied dwelling owned by households has increased by 0.6% points.

While the percentage of rented dwellings show an increase of 0.2% points, the percentage of households living in quarters dropped by 0.8% points, according to the statement.

The revision comes amidst reports that estimated that households earning RM2,500 a month may be categorised as 'urban poor':

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