MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. The poverty rate (the share of the population with monthly incomes falling below the poverty line) in Russia will halve in the coming years, President Vladimir Putin pledged on Thursday.
"Today, we have a completely different country and a different economy," the head of state said, speaking at the Russia Calling VTB Capital Investment Forum. "The income level of citizens is completely different. If we take a look, and I have already said this, we see that there are many citizens below the poverty line. According to the latest data, it is around 20 million, and in the 2000s there were more than 42 [million] of them. So we have cut it in half. In the coming years, we will reduce it again, I am sure of that, by another half," Putin promised.
Earlier, Labor and Social Protection Minister Anton Kotyakov stated that almost 20 million people, or 13.5% of Russia’s population, can be regarded as people living below the poverty line.
According to the Federal Statistics Service, in 2017, 18.9 million people in Russia had incomes below the minimum subsistence level, which translates to 12.9% of the population. At the end of 2019, this indicator dropped to 18.1 million, which is 12.3% of the Russian population. In July 2020, Putin set a goal to halve the country's poverty rate compared to 2017 by 2030.