Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Third Nepal Living Standards Survey

Nepal has made significant progress in the social sectors in the last seven years.
Also, the income gap between the poor and the rich is shrinking, according to findings of the Nepal Living Standards Survey (NLSS)- III whose preliminary report was unveiled by the Central Bureau of Statistics on 8th August 2011.
The NLSS 2010-11 said common Nepalis' access to basic facilities has improved in the years.
Despite political upheavals and unrest, average household income of Nepalis has increased by more than four-fold to Rs 202,374 over the span of 15 years due to rise in the number of employed population, switch from agricultural to non-agricultural jobs and increased receipt of remittances.
Remittance is widely spent on daily consumption, followed by loan repayment and household property instead of capital formation. Some 78.9 per cent of the remittance is used on daily consumption, whereas 7.1 per cent of the remittance is used to repay loans followed by 4.5 per cent on household property, 3.5 per cent on education and only a minimal 2.4 per cent is used on capital formation.
However, percentage of household receiving remittances has also more than doubled from 23.4 per cent 15 years ago to 55.8 per cent in 2010.
Consumption of expenditure on food, housing and education has increased but on other non-food items it has decreased. Share of food in total household consumption has seen a increased to 61.5 per cent from 59 per cent in 2003-04, whereas share of non-food consumption has decreased to 22.2 per cent in 2010-11 from 2003-04’s 28.7 per cent, according to the survey that reflects the migration has not only increased the average income of a Nepali and consumption pattern but changed the social structure too.
The female headed households percentage has doubled — to 26.6 per cent from 13.6 pre per cent — in the last 15 years since the first Nepal Living Standard Survey 1995-96.
For instance, the third edition of the survey, which compared living standard of same households that were studied during the first NLSS in 1995/96, says almost 70 percent households have access to electricity at present, whereas only about 14 percent and 37 percent households had such access in 1995/96 and 2003/04 respectively.
The number of households with access to safe drinking water too has increased to 83 percent from 70.4 percent in 1995/96. Likewise, almost 18 percent households are presently using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) - efficient and less polluting fuel - for cooking, up from 8.2 percent of 2003/04 and 0.1 percent of 1995/96.
Over the span of 15 years, access of Nepalis to primary school has jumped to almost 94.7 percent from 88 percent, access to health centers to 73.8 percent from 45 percent, market center to 45 percent from 24 percent and paved road to 51 percent from 24 percent
Over the same period per capita income of an individual has undergone a tremendous growth that average per capita income of Nepali has gone up to Rs 41,659 in 2010/11 from just Rs 7,690 in 1995/96.
The survey also shows a significant change in sources of income of Nepali households. According to the survey, more Nepalis have started to make non-agricultural income, whereas in the past, agriculture used to contribute the bulkiest share in households income.
The contribution of agriculture sector in the household income has come down to 27.7 percent from 61 percent in 1995/96. Subsequently, share of non-agricultural income in household income has increased to 37.2 percent from 22 percent of 15 years ago. The survey notes that in 2010/11, almost 56 percent of total Nepali households are receiving remittances, which is a remarkable rise over 23.4 percent recorded in 1995/96 and 31.9 percent in 2003/04.
The survey has also traced striking growth in the number of employed population. According to the survey, a total of 78.5 percent of the total population were employed in 2010/11, whereas in 1995/96 only 67.2 percent Nepalis were employed.
The percentage of not active population has dropped to 19.9 percent now from 29.4 percent of 1995/96.