The South American country ended 2021 with 37.3 % of its population below the poverty line, still far from pre-pandemic levels, when 35.5% was recorded at the end of 2019

Poverty declines in Argentina, but remains constrained by high inflation


Argentina managed to reduce the poverty rate during the second half of 2021 as part of the economic recovery that is spurring the country through job creation. However, inflation continues to have a major impact on the Argentine economy, and is especially evident in the cost of the basic food basket.

According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Indec), the poverty rate reached 37.3% in the second half of last year, 3.3% below the data for the first stage of 2021 and 4.7% lower than in the same period of 2020. Despite this, inflation of more than 50% in 2021 prevented many vulnerable people from not feeling the improvement. In addition, the destitution rate stands at 8.2%, 2.5 points lower than at the beginning of 2021.

These results evidence Argentina's economic recovery which, in 2021, achieved an expansion of 10.3%, overcoming the recession experienced in the country during the last three years, in this way, 2021 allowed the creation of 1.8 million jobs, lowering the unemployment rate to 7%, the lowest level since 2016.


"We managed to grow production and jobs, but we have not yet managed to make the distribution fairer. And to a large extent the distribution is not fairer because inflation tucks its tail. We have to work on this," said Argentina's president, Alberto Fernández.

 Inflation continues to threaten Argentina

The reactivation of the labour market over the past year has reduced unemployment and increased household incomes. However, according to Indec data, citizens living in poverty have a gap of almost 37% between their income and the cost of basic necessities such as food, clothing and medicine. These families have an average monthly income of 46,712 pesos (400 dollars) while the cost of the basic food basket amounted to 74,059 pesos (637 dollars).

Furthermore, the situation of poverty is even more alarming given the fragility of children: one out of every two children under 14 years of age is poor, while 44% of those between 15 and 29 years of age live in poverty. These figures contrast with the reality of the over-65s, where 13% face this situation on a daily basis.


In this recovery phase, inflation has reduced the gains made in 2021, and threatens a possible setback for the Argentine economy in 2022. During the month of February this year, prices increased by 4.7% compared to the first month of 2022, and prices rose by 7.5%.

The figures for the beginning of the year are alarming, and the Argentinean government has stated that they are at war with inflation, although the measures have not yet made a big difference for citizens.

Demonstrations and social movements are beginning to show up in Argentina calling for more strength and jobs. This Wednesday a new march returned to the headquarters of the Ministry of Social Development demanding solutions, they fear that the pact with the IMF to refinance the Argentinean debt will result in new adjustments that will damage the pockets of citizens.

America Coordinator: José Antonio Sierra.