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Number of people in poverty declines in Russia - government statistics
RIA Novosti

Moscow, 1 December: The number of people in Russia with incomes below the minimum subsistence level fell by 14 per cent in January-September 2004 compared to the same period last year. The fall was from 33.5m to 28.8m people.

These figures made up 23.3 per cent and 20.1 per cent respectively of the total Russian population, a statement from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service says.

The number of people with incomes lower than the minimum subsistence level in the third quarter of 2004 was 26.7m, compared to 31.3m a year ago. These figures are 18.7 per cent and 21.8 per cent respectively of the total population.

The average minimum subsistence level across Russia in the third quarter of 2004 was R2,396, an increase of 1.4 per cent on the second quarter. In a consumer basket the cost of foodstuffs was R2,257, a rise of 0.2 per cent, the cost of non-foodstuffs was R494, a rise of 1.4 per cent, and the cost of services was R742, a rise of 2.9 per cent. [Passage omitted to end]