In his speech delivered at the 71st Independence Day celebration on 4 February 2019, President Maithripala Sirisena made the following statement:
The absolute poverty ratio of the country has been reported as 6.7%...
(For the speech, please see: http://bit.do/MS-poverty. )
Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) data shows that the president used outdated data in his statement.
The absolute poverty ratio has indeed been reported as 6.7 per cent, but this figure was based on HIES data from 2012/2013. The next and latest HIES was completed in 2016, and the absolute poverty ratio reported dropped to 4.1 per cent. Therefore, the president has referred to an outdated statistic as if it were current.
Based on the above, we have classified the president’s statement as PARTLY TRUE.
All reporting on absolute poverty referred to in our fact check has been carried out by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS).
Source: Poverty Indicators, Department of Census and Statistics, available at: http://bit.do/poverty-bulletin