Median household income decreased from $100,000 to $67,000 during pandemic – report highlights
Kaieteur News – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its damaging economic impact in Guyana, the median household income has noticeably decreased from $100,000 to 67,000. This was indicated in a report titled: “Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 on Households in Guyana,” compiled by the United Nations Development Programme in collaboration with the Civil Defence Commission.
“Such reduction(s) in income were experienced in both households headed by females and other households, in each region without exception,” it noted. The report went on to say that female-headed households earned less than other households, to begin with, and that continued after the decreases in income due to the pandemic. “In contrast to income, the median household expenditure remained stable at G$60,000 and at G$55,000 for female headed households but decreased from G$70,000 to G$60,000 in other households,” it further highlighted.
The median household expenditure was also examined on a regional level where it was stated that it remained the same in Regions Six and Ten, but increased in Regions Two, Five, Eight and Nine and decreased in Regions One, Three, Four and Seven, with the difference exceeding $5,000 only in Regions Two, Three and Seven. More specifically, household expenditure was stable for female-headed households it said but declined in other households.
“Approximately 8.2% of the households receive remittance. However, 12.6% of households headed exclusively by females and 6.7% of those with other headship arrangements receive remittance. The proportion of households that receive remittance varies between 0% in Region 8 and 12.8% in Region 5,” it was stated.
Further to that, it was said that remittance is obtained mainly from the United States of America which accounts for 74.2 percent of remittance collected, but Canada was also listed as an important source, especially for households in Regions One, Two and Three. At an aggregate level, remittance remained relatively stable during the pandemic with a median of G$20,000 per month. However, at the regional level, there were noticeable increases in Regions Seven and Ten and noticeable decreases in Regions One, Two and Nine.
Moreover, the report outlined that approximately 4.91 percent of all households have members that work in other regions and also stay there for extended periods. Money sent “home” by these individuals had a median of $60,000 in January 2020; however, that was slashed in half by the month before the data collection for the report. “This was due mainly to noticeable and sometimes substantial decreases in the amount sent home to each Region except Regions Four and Five. More than half of these household members send money home in the form of cash (53.4%) but there is some evidence of the use of transfers to bank accounts (12.1%),” it said.
Cash has been listed as the most used method “by a long way” in each region, whereas bank transfers appear to be used by some in Regions Four, Five and 10.