It was estimated in 1991 that 14 percent of the population was below the U.S. dollar-a-day poverty line (this line is based on the income required to provide the absolute minimum nutrition, clothing, and shelter). This means that 16 percent of children under age 5 are mal-nourished (the figure is 1 percent for the United States) and life expectancy is 53 years (in the United States it is
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|Dem. Rep. of Congo||392||313||293||247||127|
|SOURCE: United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.|
|Distribution of Income or Consumption by Percentage Share: Zimbabwe|
|Survey year: 1990-91|
|Note: This information refers to expenditure shares by percentiles of the population and is ranked by per capita expenditure.|
|SOURCE: 2000 World Development Indicators [CD-ROM].|
77 years). Estimates in 1999 suggest that the deteriorating economic conditions, particularly the disruption of agriculture by the violent occupation of farms by landless Zimbabweans, has increased the dollar-a-day poverty level to 60 percent of the population. Most of those in poverty are in the rural areas, relying on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods. They suffer because of poor land, inadequate rainfall, and insufficient income to purchase good seeds, fertilizer, or farm machinery. With the economic deterioration, increasing numbers of urban dwellers are finding themselves in poverty. There is a huge income distribution disparity. In 1990, the poorest 10 percent of the population received 1.8 percent of total income, while the richest 10 percent received 46.9 percent.
The national social security authority had about 840,000 employed persons registered with it in 1995. Subsistence farmers and informally employed people do not participate in pension, sickness benefits, or other formal welfare schemes, but rely on traditional community support structures.