Poverty is a global phenomenon and the way it is experienced differs from one place to another. It is also a relative concept and as such is experienced differently in different parts of the world and over time. That does not take away the fact, however, that in virtually every society there is a part of the population living below the subsistence level. It is important to identify this group, and various methodologies are used to achieve this. One commonly used method is the poverty line—Individuals and households whose income is below this threshold are considered poor.

Poverty covers various aspects of life. To visualise this multidimensionality, the Central Bureau of Statistics Curaçao (CBS) uses a methodology referred to as the “Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).” To calculate the MPI, the CBS takes into account a number of different dimensions: health, education, social security and standard of living.

CBS has information about two types of the poverty line. The so-called subjective poverty line and the objective poverty line. The subjective poverty line is based on the results of the Budget Survey carried out by the CBS in 2016. A subjective poverty line (SPL) was  derived using the data yielded by this Survey. This poverty line differs from the 2008 Objective Poverty Line (based on expert opinions and assumptions), in that the subjective poverty line is based on the respondents’ own perception of their level of wealth.