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Income Grows, but Social Misery Persists

05/27/2013 - 08h13

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JOÃO CARLOS MAGALHÃES
BRENO COSTA
FROM BRASILIA

Dilma Rousseff's government improved the income of the poor, but did not solve their miserable levels of access to employment and education.

This is what an indicator, created by the federal government itself to analyze poverty in the country, reveals, whose December 2012 database Folha obtained through the Access to Information Act.

Called the Family Development Index (IDF), it is supplied by the Single Registry (federal database of low-income families) and provides a detailed measurement of the situation of the poor.

Instead of defining the social condition only by income, as the official propaganda does, the IDF is divided into six dimensions: family vulnerability, availability of resources (income), child development, housing conditions, access to employment and access to knowledge.

Each one gets a score, which ranges from 0 (worst) to 1 (best). Together, these six scores create an overall average - which in the case of poor Brazilians is 0.61.

The income index, for example, is above average: 0.63. The access to knowledge index is 0.38, and access to work is 0.29.

OTHER SIDE

The Ministry of Social Development said the country is experiencing "undeniable" progress in education and employment, which are not necessarily captured by the Index of Family Development (IDF).

"The Single Registry has peculiarities, among them the fact that people seek the registration exactly when facing periods of socioeconomic difficulties and negative shocks, such as job loss," said the department.

"Thus, the undeniable progress that the country has had in the areas of education and employment are much better captured by data sources geared specifically to these topics, such as the Census of Basic Education."

In relation to the dimension "access to knowledge", the department reported that it is "focused on the education of adults and not children and adolescents, an audience monitoring the conditionality of the Bolsa Familia (Family Stipend)." The dimension that measures the degree of child development got the best score in the IDF, reaching 0.85.

Translated by DAVE WOLIN

Read the article in the original language