The institute producing data on poverty allegedly receives heavy political influence, causing many to disregard their findings. Alternative measures of poverty exceed 21% compared to official figures of 6.5%… should we trust this inequality index chart?

Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), which itself produces a poverty index, announced recently that 21.9% of Argentina’s population is poor. This index goes against official figures prepared by Argentina’s National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC), which claimed last week that poverty is almost inexistent in the country as “it only affects 6.5% of the population, the equivalent of 2,6 million people”. But according to UCA’s calculations, there are 8.7 million poor in Argentina. Between the two estimates, there is a significant gap of 6.1 million people.

According to the government agency Indec, poverty has fallen from 53% in 2003 (Nestor Kirchner’s inauguration) to 23.4% in 2007 (Cristina Kirchner’s inauguration). Still according to the same agency, in 2011 (Cristina’s re-election year) poverty was only 8.3% and it quickly dropped to 6.5% this year. After releasing its data, Indec celebrated “the slowest poverty rate in 30 years.”

By the way…

Cristina Kirchner is the second richest president in South America, with US$17 million in assets, according to the official statement of assets (should we trust it?). Cristina’s fortune – a declared admirer of Evita Peron, the “mother of the poor” – has risen 930% since 2003. The Argentine president, who is frequently spotted wearing her Rolex watch, Louis Vuitton handbags and Christian Louboutin shoes, defines her political style as “nationalistic and populist.”

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