The government’s decision to extend the middle-income status from 2020 to 2040 is believed to be have come about because many are still living below the poverty line.
According to a report from the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), a large part of household income is spent on buying food, which accounts for 43 percent of their total expenditure.
Vincent Senono, a statistician at UBOS, said the poverty level in the country still remains unacceptably high.
“The higher the share of food expenditure takes from the household, the poorer the household is likely to be. So as the household spends more on the food, we expect them to be poorer because food is a necessity,” Senono said.
The statistics body revealed that 7 percent Ugandans who were critically poor in 2016-2017 have remained the same in 2019-2020.
According to the report, the poverty dynamics in Uganda also indicated that even when 10 percent of households moved out of poverty, 8 percent slipped into poverty in 2019-2020 and this is expected to grow further due to the impact of COVID-19.
“So those people who were poor in 2016-2017 and continue to be poor, they are 7 percent. There are those who were not poor but became poor in 2019-2020” Senono said.
It has also been noted that 8 out of every 10 Ugandans have been on the bottom of the 40 percent quintile between 2015-2016 to date.
But even with the Universal Primary Education, the country has recorded an increase in school drop outs from the 6 percent recorded in 2018-2019 to the current 8 percent in 2019-2020 according to the report.
“Majority of the dropouts were in the Northern and Eastern region. The number of male students dropping out is higher,” Senono added.
Additional reporting by Jonah Kirabo