Fourth Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey: One out of three Filipino families escaped poverty; One out of eight families fell into poverty

By Social Weather Stations
Jan 19, 2018

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SWS media release

The Fourth Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey, done on December 8-16, 2017, found that 31% of Filipino families, or about one out of three, escaped poverty (17% usually non-poor, 14% newly non-poor). It also found that 12% of Filipino families, or about one out of eight, fell into poverty (6% usually poor, 6% newly poor) [Chart 1, Table 1].

The December 2017 survey found that of the 56% Self-Rated Non-Poor families, 25% have never experienced poverty (“always non-poor”). The 31% who transitioned out of poverty consists of 17% who used to be poor five or more years ago (“usually non-poor”), and 14% who used to be poor 1-4 years ago (“newly non-poor”).

The survey also found that of the 44% Self-Rated Poor families, 31% have never experienced being non-poor (“always poor”). The 12% who transitioned into poverty consists of 6.4% who used to be non-poor five or more years ago (“usually poor”), and 6.0% who used to be non-poor 1-4 years ago (“newly poor”).

The figure for December 2017 is the highest rate of newly non-poor families since the 13.8% recorded when the question was first surveyed in December 2014.

Transitioning in and out of poverty

Since December 2014, SWS asked its self-rated poor respondents if they have ever experienced not being poor, and if so, when they most recently experienced it (“KUNG MAHIRAP: Nangyari na po ba, kailanman sa mga nakaraang taon, na ang pamilya ninyo ay 
hindi mahirap?,” KUNG OO: Kailan po ang pinakamalapit na taon na nangyari ‘yan?).

SWS also asked its self-rated non-poor (including borderline) respondents if they have ever experienced being poor, and if so, when they most recently experienced it (“KUNG HINDI MAHIRAP/NASA LINYA: Nangyari na po ba, kailanman sa mga nakaraang taon, na ang pamilya ninyo ay mahirap?,” KUNG OO: Kailan po ang pinakamalapit na taon na nangyari ‘yan?).

When it was first asked in December 2014, nationwide self-rated poverty had been at 52 percent. The survey found that almost 3 out of 5 self-rated poor families, or 30% of families overall, had always been poor. The survey also found that 2 out of 5 self-rated poor families, or 21% of families of overall, had experienced being non-poor in the past. Of these 21%, about half were newly poor. December 2014 was also the quarter with the highest rate of newly poor families at 10.7% [Chart 2].

Following this, nationwide self-rated poverty was it its highest score in the past 3 years on December 2015 at 50 percent. December 2015 was also the quarter with the highest rate of families who were always poor 40 percent.

Since then, nationwide self-rated poverty was at its lowest score in the past 3 years on September 2016 at 42 percent. September 2016 was also the quarter with the highest rate of families who were always non-poor, and is the only quarter where the proportion of families who were always non-poor (30%) outnumbered those who were always poor (29%).

The SWS December 2017 survey findings on Self-Rated Poverty and Self-Rated Food Poverty were reported by SWS on January 16, 2018.

Survey background

The Fourth Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey was conducted from December 8-16, 2017 using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults (18 years old and above) nationwide: 300 each in Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao (sampling error margins of ±2.5% for national percentages, and ±6% each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao).

The area estimates were weighted by Philippine Statistics Authority medium-population projections for 2017 to obtain the national estimates.

The SWS survey questions about the family’s transitioning in and out of poverty are directed to the household head. These items are non-commissioned, and are always included on SWS’s own initiative and released as a public service.

The survey question on Transitioning In and Out of Poverty is as follows: “KUNG MAHIRAP: Nangyari na po ba, kailanman sa mga nakaraang taon, na ang pamilya ninyo ay HINDI MAHIRAP? KUNG OO: Kailan po ang pinakamalapit na taon na nangyari ‘yan?” [IF POOR: Did it happen anytime in past years that your family was NOT POOR? IF YES: When was the most recent year that it happened?]

“KUNG HINDI MAHIRAP/SA LINYA: Nangyari na po ba, kailanman noong mga nakaraang taon, na ang pamilya ninyo ay MAHIRAP? KUNG OO: Kailan po ang pinakamalapit na taon na nangyari ‘yan?” [IF NOT POOR/ON THE LINE: Did it happen anytime in past years that your family was POOR? IF YES: When was the most recent year that it happened?]

SWS employs its own staff for questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork, data-processing, and analysis, and does not outsource any of its survey operations. This report was prepared by Antonia Beatrice D. Lee.

                      Chart 1

 

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                     Chart 2 CHART 2 pr20180119_vis02

                         

                        Table 1 CHART 3 pr20180119_vis03

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