Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess


Blog Action Day: Poverty In Perspective – South Africa
October 15, 2008, 1:21 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Education | Tags: ,

Today is Blog Action Day 08, and participating bloggers are uniting to bring to attention the very real issue of poverty. As I am leaving in about 5 weeks to participate in a mission trip in South Africa, I wanted to throw out a couple of statistics comparing the economic status of South Africa as compared to the United States, as provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

South Africa economic factsheet

 Annual data 

 2007(a) 

 Historical averages (%) 

 2003-07 

 Population (m) 

 47.6(b) 

 Population growth 

 0.6 

 GDP (US$ bn; market exchange rate) 

 282.9 

 Real GDP growth 

 4.1 

 GDP (US$ bn; purchasing power parity) 

 466.9(b) 

 Real domestic demand growth 

 5.9 

 GDP per head (US$; market exchange rate) 

 5,943(b) 

 Inflation 

 3.9 

 GDP per head (US$; purchasing power parity) 

 9,808(b) 

 Current-account balance (% of GDP) 

 -4.4 

 Exchange rate (av) :US$ 

 7.0 

 FDI inflows (% of GDP) 

 1.1 

 (a) Actual. (b) Economist Intelligence Unit estimate.

…as compared to the United States economic factsheet:

Annual data 

 2007(a) 

 Historical averages (%) 

 2003-07 

 Population (m) 

 301.1 

 Population growth 

 0.9 

 GDP (US$ bn; market exchange rate) 

 13,841 

 Real GDP growth 

 2.9 

 GDP (US$ bn; PPP) 

 13,841 

 Real domestic demand growth 

 2.9 

 GDP per head (US$; market exchange rate) 

 45,963 

 Inflation 

 2.9 

 GDP per head (US$; PPP) 

 45,963 

 Current-account balance (% of GDP) 

 -5.6 

 Nominal effective exchange rate 

 77.5 

 FDI inflows (% of GDP) 

 1.0 

Just a quick glance at these numbers shows a humongous difference in the GDP (gross domestic product) per person in both countries. Here are some more statistics:

  • The median annual income of Black South African working adults aged 15-65 is ZAR 12,073 ($1,294 US).
  • The unemployment rate of the Black South African population aged 15-65 is 28.1%.
  • The median annual income of White South African working adults aged 15-65 is ZAR 65,405 ($7,010 US).
  • The unemployment rate of the White South African population aged 15-65 is 4.1%.
  • A study conducted in 2004 by SARPN found that approximately 57% of individuals in South Africa were living below the poverty income line in 2001 [census year], unchanged from 1996. Limpopo and the Eastern Cape had the highest proportion of poor with 77% and 72% of their populations living below the poverty income line, respectively.

 
(Apartheid is a major reason for the drastic differences in the White and Black South African demographics)

For comparison, the median annual income for the United States is $44,389, and currently our unemployment rate is at 6.1%. Those below the poverty level in the United States, as of a 2005-2006 survey, were at 17.4%. It is important to note that the poverty line for a 2-person household in the US has been drawn at $14,000 which is almost double what the White South African median annual income is, and over 10x more than the Black South African median annual income.

So, taking a look at this information, put into perspective our current economic situation and be thankful for the things that you have! Keep in mind that our lifestyle is relative in the world and there are s-o-o-o many countries that are in worse shape than us.

I would ask if this particular issue has touched you and you want to help, please make a contribution to our group of 400 who are going to Mamelodi, South Africa, in the latter part of November. You do not have to contribute to me directly; you can make a general donation for the effort at large. Please also read other blogs who are participating in Blog Action Day 08!

Advertisements

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i wish i could donate. 😦 i do wish you all the best for that trip though.

for my part, i turn to sites like freerice (rice donation), kiva (microfinance), and goodsearch (donation per search), as ways to help alleviate poverty online. i also put up their banners on my blog. 🙂

saw this post via the front page of blog action day. it’s great that you’re participating. 🙂

Comment by kouji haiku

Great post, I myself wrote one at: http://www.guruofsales.com/general/427/fight-poverty-its-blog-action-day-today and the action has not stopped. Would you share your thoughts by a comment there as well?

Comment by Alex




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



%d bloggers like this: