Photo via Politica Argentina.

28.6 percent of Argentines and 20.4 percent of households finished the first semester of 2017 below the poverty line, according to the latest report from the government’s official statistics agency, Indec. The figure means that 11.3 million Argentines are not able to afford the so called Basic Basket of Goods: a combination of indispensable products and services that determines the poverty line.

The number represents a 1.7 percent drop compared to the second semester of last year – or 600,000 people – and of 3.6 percent compared to the first one. While this is a good indicator, it’s also valid to clarify that the poverty rate increased drastically during the first semester of the Macri administration: from the 29 percent reported by UCA in December 29, 2015 – let’s recall that Indec’s stats during the Kirchner administration were widely regarded as false – to 32.2 percent. This means that since the Macri administration took office, the poverty rate has dropped by 0.4 percent. The most positive thing to highlight, then, is the descending curve the rate is in.

The report goes on to inform that 6.2 percent of the population, or 2.4 million Argentines, couldn’t afford the foods that are essential to subsist: the so-called Basic Basket of Foods – which determines the destitution line. In contrast with the poverty rate’s drop, this one increased by 0.1 percent – or 70,000 people. Regarding to the households rates, 15.9 percent of them were under the poverty line, and 4.5 under the destitution one.

The regions that are most affected by poverty are Santiago del Estero – La Banda (45.4 percent), Concordia, in the province of Entre Ríos (42 percent) and the city of Corrientes, in the eponymous province (40 percent). In contrast, the southern provinces of Río Gallegos (in Santa Cruz) and Ushuaia (in Tierra del Fuego) were the least affected ones, with a 9.6 and 10.8 percent rate, respectively.

In Buenos Aires City, the rate clocked in at 13.4 percent, a whopping 4 percent increase compared to the first semester of the year, while the greater Buenos Aires area saw a 2 percent decrease in its rate, from 34.6 to 32.6 percent.