The Asian Development Bank has clarified that its data showed poverty in Indonesia was in fact decreasing, and not on the rise, as a local nongovernmental organization recently reported.
The Jakarta-based Center for Welfare Studies (Prakarsa) quoted data on Friday from a newly released ADB report, “Poverty in Asia and the Pacific: An Update,” suggesting that the number of poor people in Indonesia increased by about 6.7 percent over last three years to 43.1 million.
Prakarsa quoted from a table in the report that showed the number of Indonesians living in extreme poverty was 40.36 million in 2008, before jumping a year later to 44.83 million, then dropping a little to 43.07 million in 2010.
However, ADB said not all the statistics in the paper were directly comparable, as they were based on different sources.
“It is important to point out that it is inappropriate to compare the poverty numbers for 2008, 2009 and 2010 in the ADB paper because they were estimated using different data and methodologies,” ADB’s Indonesia office said in a statement sent to the Jakarta Globe.
A footnote in the ADB paper makes it clear that the three figures were derived from different sources.
The data for 2008 is based on the Indonesian government’s National Socio-Economic Survey; the 2009 data is taken from the World Bank’s PovcalNet database, whereas the 2010 data was based on an economic modelling method that assumes poverty rates change relative to a country’s Gross Domestic Product.
If the Indonesian government’s data from 2008 is excluded, the World Bank’s data from 2005, 2009 and 2010 shows a modest decrease in the number of people living in poverty, although at a rate well behind many comparable developing countries mentioned in the report.
The ADB shows 50.57 percent of Indonesians lived on under $2 a day in 2010.