UN confirms poverty on the rise in Venezuela


The UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America is finally catching on to what we wrote about months ago: poverty is on a quick ascendancy in Venezuela. The worst part of all of this? The trend is only going to get worse, seeing, as though we’re talking about 2013 figures so far.

Here are two graphs with the data. The full report can be downloaded here.

Pobreza Cepal 1

The number of poor people rose between 2012 and 2013, from about 7.1 to about 9.1 million, an increase in 2 million poor people in one year alone (using population estimates and a constant growth rate in the population). The number of indigent people rose, from 1.9 million to 2.8 million, again in a single year.

I wonder what the 2014 or 2015 figures will look like now that the government is bankrupt.

Here is another eloquent graph telling the same story:

Pobreza Cepal 2

Between 2012 and 2013, all countries in the region decreased their poverty levels … except ours. #ElLegadoDelGigante

Mind you, this isn’t the first time they’ve said this. Back in 2010, the  poverty rates in Venezuela also went up. However, back then, the rise was modest and temporary. Once oil prices went back up and the government started spending like crazy, poverty numbers went down again.

What a wasted opportunity the chavista experiment has been …


Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. Juan, of course the poverty/indigency rates are rising, but, how does the UN define poverty, because, if it’s like the FAO defining food production/sufficiency so that Venezuela is considered stellar, then the UN poverty figures have been understating Venezuela’s situation all along?

  2. So much for all the “social advances” made in Venezuela in “such a small amount of time” (right, Eva Golinger?), and in the end not even that were very solid. So far, this revolution is the biggest scam of this century. Thank God it won’t last long.

  3. I thought poverty, injustice, and illiteracy were eliminated 5 minutes after Chavez took over in 1998, back when the country still had toilet paper! Could someone be lying?!

    • Well, all these “Niños de la calle” he promised to erradicate, grew healthy to become modern Pranes.

      They succeeded in life, sort of.

  4. Another impressive thing in the report is the improvement of Brasil between 2005-2012 in its poverty levels. I get an incredible “arrechera” to see how we wasted an impressive opportunity in our country.

  5. Help wanted. Perhaps you guys can help out our deluded friends over at the Venezuela section of Axis of Logic, as they seem to believe (or want us to) that things have never been better in Venezuela. A few polite but pointed questions and comments on their articles will stop them feeling lonely and help to keep them occupied in writing replies! Thanks.

    • F-Rod, the eternal BOA shill for Venezuelan bonds/new BOA investment banking business–Run, don’t walk, suckers, to buy at fire-sale prices. Angel Garcia Banchs/Econometrica says: any high $ so-called reserves figure is just a smoke-and-mirrors PDVSA/Govt. phantom accounting gimmick; gold reserve sales would, as history has shown for a heavily-indebted/poor future prospects country like Venezuela, indicate desperation/raspando la olla and be counter-productive to all international financial players; refinery sales are difficult in the best of times, more so in collapsing oil price times; selling Petro-Caribe receivables at 50-60% discount for $10 bill or less is possible, but doesn’t go far to plug a $50 bill or so Govt. spending gap (including international sovereign/PDVSA debt payments due this year). An IMF $15-20 bill low-interest loan with debt-re-structuring would, of course, be the rational way out, but the conditions would/should be the death-knell of Chavismo Government dominance, and anathema to hard-line Commie ideologues and corrupt political/military fellow-travelers.

    • “Quico should write something on the lines of “F-Rod’s Dame-el-ministerio Conundrum””

      and add a not so subtle reminder along the lines of “y no te olvides de la ayudaita que te presté, a través de mis elocuentes lecturas, en varios instantes.” In other words, “pssst, me vendo barato”…

  6. It seems the rulers want to create a second Cuba where everybody’s poor but the rulers. I’ve yet to see anybody in government do anything to suggest otherwise

  7. It is an interesting question, “What is the correct exchange rate to use for the calculation of individual and aggregate wealth statistics?” Clearly, if we use the official exchange rate, Venezuela’s GNP per capita, minimum wage, and other statistics are grossly exaggerated. However, because so many products are so heavily subsidized, using the black market rate paints a bleaker picture than reality. Obviously, somewhere in between 6.3 and 184 lies the correct number.

    Is there a way to calculate it in a meaningful way?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here