Official statistics claims lower poverty in Russia

A woman begs for money in an underground passage, with the air temperature at about minus 24 degrees.(Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko)
Russians have become better off, as the number of people with earnings below the subsistence level went down almost 15% yoy in 3Q 2012. That represents $217.80 per month which the authorities say should be enough to live on.

The number of Russians who don’t get that amount a month went down to 17.2mn during January – September according to the Russian Statistics Service. Now, the poor in Russia comprise 12.1% of the total population, the agency said.

The assumptions in all of the calculations are that Russians need $81 a month to provide for basic food, $34 for non food products, another $88 for services and $15.7 to pay regular bills.

However, the average bill for public facilities in a one bedroom flat in Moscow is on average about $100.

The minimum wage in Russia – another indicator of the country’s well-being – is also much lower than in developed economies, according to FBK auditor. At the moment the figure stands at $148, while in the most prosperous countries like Luxembourg, Netherlands and Belgium top the list with a minimum wage of over $1500 a month.