It is difficult to know exactly the nature and the extent of poverty in Guyana. Since the 1980s, thankfully, out-migration has resulted in a low population growth rate, so a growing population is not among Guyana's problems. At the same time, the real GDP has fallen by 24 percent, and consumption spending has fallen by 22 percent. The incidence of underweight children suggests that about 16 percent of the population was below the dollar-a-day poverty line in 1998.
The measure of per capita GDP using the purchasing power parity conversion (which makes allowance for the low price of basic commodities in Guyana) was US$4,800 in 2000 which puts Guyana near the top of the low-income group of countries. The United Nations Human Development Index (which combines measures of income, health, and education) ranked Guyana as 96th out of 174 countries in 1998, and Guyana was judged to have a medium level of human development. Thus, Guyana is placed among those countries with levels of income, health provision, and educational facilities that
|Distribution of Income or Consumption by Percentage|
|Survey year: 1993|
|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].|
are mid-way between the high human development countries of Europe and North America and the countries that are the poorest and most deprived.