KUCHING: The rate of poverty in Sarawak dropped to below 1% (0.9%) last year, according to Malaysia's chief statistician, Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Hasan.
The poverty rate reduction in 2012 was 2.4%, he said while launching a statistics transformation seminar organised by the state Statistics Department on Tuesday.
According to him, the poverty rate in Sarawak about 40 years ago was 56.5%.
He said the monthly household income had also increased by 7% from RM4,293 in 2012 to RM4,934 in 2014.
“The increase is also enjoyed by those below 40 years of age where the average income has risen by 13.8% from RM1,552 in 2012 to RM2,044 in 2014," he said.
Abdul Rahman said statistics had also shown that the rate of unemployment in Sarawak was 3.1% in 2014 compared with 4.4% in 2010.
Meanwhile, he said the department played an important role in the country's aspiration to achieve developed nation status.
“Every policy including the 11th Malaysia Plan rely on statistics that are of quality and integrity and precise to succeed,” he said.
Abdul Rahman also disclosed that the department would conduct a new population census in 2020.
“Such census must be done every 10 years," he said, adding that Malaysia would organise the 62nd International Statistical Institute World Statistics Congress in Kuala Lumpur in 2019. – Bernama