Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM Households Experiencing Hardship Increase Due to High Cost of Living, UN Report Indicates

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): June 15, 2009 - According to a recently released poverty report based on the 2005 FSM Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES), about 22.4% of households or 29.9% of the population in the FSM was living below the minimum cost of living or the Basic Needs Poverty Line (BNPL). Comparing to a similar analysis done in 1998, the proportion of households falling below the BNPL has increased, suggesting a slight worsening of overall poverty in the FSM.

The report, titled Analysis of the 2005 Household Income and Expenditure Survey: A report on the estimation of basic needs poverty lines, and the incidence and characteristics of poverty in the Federated States of Micronesia, stated that poverty in the FSM does not mean hunger or destitution in the traditional sense, but rather the struggle to meet daily or weekly expenses, especially those requiring cash payments.

David Abbot, Pacific Regional Macroeconomic and Poverty Reduction Advisor at the UNDP-Pacific Center and author of the report, says the HIES contains a wealth of information. "The analysis of the survey data enables the location and characteristics of the most vulnerable households and those experiencing the greatest hardship to be identified. This should enable the government to develop policies and targeted responses to help those most in need."

Copies of the report are available at the Office of Statistics, Budget & Economic Management, Overseas Development Assistance, and Compact Management (SBOC).

For inquiries regarding this release, contact Mr. Mathew Chigiyal, Assistant Director for Statistics, Office of SBOC. Phone (691) 320-2823/2824 or by email or

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356