Burkina Faso is a low-income country, but there are no official poverty figures. However, average income per capita in the rural areas is estimated to be near the poverty level, and it can be concluded that probably more than 60 percent of the population are in poverty. The overwhelming majority of the impoverished live in the rural areas, relying on agricultural production from small family farms or herding family-based livestock for their livelihood. To be below the established dollar-a-day poverty level means that a person does not have enough income to provide the barest minimum of food, clothing, and shelter. In 1995, Burkina Faso was ranked 172 out of 174 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index, which combines measures of income, health, and education.
In 1998, 41 percent of Burkinabe children attended primary school, 10 percent attended secondary school, and only 1 percent attended schools of higher education. The pupil to teacher ratio climbed to 51:1 in 1998, and figures indicated that only 19 percent of the population over the age of 15 were literate in 1995 (30 percent of males and 9 percent of females). Health care has improved since independence, though it is still very poor. The infant mortality rate stands at 107 deaths per 1,000 live births (2001 est.), compared to a rate of 7 deaths per
|Distribution of Income or Consumption by Percentage Share: Burkina Faso|
|Survey year: 1994|
|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].|
1,000 live births in the United States. Life expectancy is 47 years (2001 est.).