The National Statistic Institute has recently published a new Poverty Map, based on information for 2013 from the National Household Survey (Enaho), targeted household surveys (Sisfoh) and a number of recent censuses on agriculture and education.

The new Poverty Map reveals some interesting changes in the distribution of poverty since the last one in 2009. Although poverty levels have fallen substantially overall, they remained the same in 761 districts and increased in 232 (out of a total of 1,848 districts).

By and large, poverty rates have fallen in districts in the southern highlands (where historically they have been highest), while this has not been the case in the northern highlands, specifically in Cajamarca and La Libertad. More than 110 of the poorest districts are in this area. Specifically, of the 20 poorest regions of the country, seven are in Cajamarca and seven in La Libertad, while only two are in Ayacucho and one in Apurímac.

These results provide much material for discussion about the causes of persistent poverty in Peru today and how best to deal with it, specifically the role of regional authorities in social programmes designed to reduce poverty levels. How well, for example, has the canon minero contributed to poverty alleviation in different places? And why have poverty levels increased in regions like La Libertad where there has been a boom in coastal agriculture with apparent stagnation in the highlands?

To access the latest Poverty Map, go to: http://www.inei.gob.pe/media/MenuRecursivo/publicaciones_digitales/Est/Lib1261/Libro.pdf