Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NEPAL: Major findings of Annual Household Survey 2012/13

The CBS is publishing annual household survey (AHS) data (no online link to the document yet) starting FY2013 to compliment the low frequency surveys (NLSS, NLFS). These high frequency survey data on key household characteristics could play an important role in steering public policy and development debates in the right direction. Basically, data on demography, housing, consumption and employment/economic activity are included. The household consumption data may also used to estimate final consumption figures in the national accounts estimate. Exercise caution while comparing annual household survey data with that of NLSS and NLFS. The latter ones are standard surveys that are used to compare various indicators (poverty, inequality, labor force participation, etc) within and across countries. The annual survey may not be as forceful as the periodic surveys. That said, they can still be used to capture changing expenditure and employment dynamics.

The average nominal per capita consumption in 2012/13 was NRs44,596, with the share of poorest 20% population at 7.6% and the richest 20% population at 45.8%. In urban and rural areas, per capita consumption was NRs84,134 and NRs.36,694, respectively.

Regarding consumption pattern, 59.2% of household expenditure was spent on food, followed by 11.6% in rent, 4% in alcohol and tobacco, 3% in education, 1.1% in durables, 0.8% in utilities, and 20.4% in non-food items. Looks like households spent more on alcohol and tobacco than education and durables combined! As a share of consumption, the poorest quintiles consume more alcohol and tobacco than the richest quintiles. Also, high inflation is particularly going to be severe in the case of poorest households because they spend about 67.1% of income on food and 17.2% on non-food items. For households in the richest quintile, this is 40.6% and 26.4%, respectively.

The AHS 2012/13 puts unemployment rate at 3.3% and labor force participation rate at 81.1%. Labor force participation includes the population employed (at least for an hour) in the past 7 days and those actively searching for jobs. Discouraged workers are not included in the labor force. Male and female unemployment rate stood at 3.2% and 3.4%, respectively. While urban areas had the highest unemployment rate (8%), folks between 20 and 24 years had unemployment rate of 7.7%. Also, unemployment was highest in the richest quintile (5.3%).

Labor underutilization rate stood at 27.8%, which includes unemployment rate (3.3%), time related underemployment (13.4%), skills mismatch (4.2%), and inadequate earnings (6.9%). Labor underutilization rate is highest in urban areas and also among households in the highest consumption quintiles. Those people who are willing to work for more than 40 hours in a week, but are not getting that much of work hours are clubbed under time related underemployment. Those folks whose skills are not fully utilized in the present job are clubbed under skills mismatched. Those people earning is less than half of the mean income are clubbed under inadequate earnings.

Agriculture, forestry and fishery accounted for about 66.5% of total employment in 2012/13, followed by 6.8% in wholesale and retail trade, 5.2% in manufacturing, and 3.4% in education.

A majority of the population is of working age (15-59 years) — almost 57%. There are 88.5 males per 100 females (partly reflective of the large number of males who go abroad) and average household size is 4.6.  About 15.4% of households have 1-2 persons and 37.9% have 3-4 percent, meaning that 53.5% of households have less than or equal to 4 persons. About 36.6% of households are headed by less than 40 years old. About 25.3% of households are headed by females.

While a majority of the households owns a house, just 10.2% households take it on rent for living. But, the renter households are higher in urban areas (38.8%) than rural areas (just 3.6%). In urban areas, 57.5% households own a house. Now, the richest quintile appears to rent more than the lower quintiles. A general trend is that the richer your household is, the higher the probability that you will be living in a rented place. Quite surprising!

Furthermore, while a majority of dwelling of households in rural areas is mud bonded, in urban areas the majority of dwelling is pillar bonded. Given the large number of households in rural areas, the overall average for Nepal is 49.5% dwellings that are mud bonded. Also, the poorest quintiles tend to have more mud bonded dwelling (58.7%) and the richest quintiles tend to have pillar bonded (45.3%). Sounds obvious, but it is always good to get the near-exact  numbers.

About 43.7% of households have toilet with flush connected septic tank and just 6.1% of households have toilet with flush connected to public sanitation. About 20.2% of households in the richest consumption quintile have toilet with flush connected to public sanitation. Overall, 31.6% of total households do not have toilet facility (among lowest consumption quintile households, the figures is 63.4%).

In terms of access to ICT, 82.1% of households have access to mobile phone, with households in the richest quintile have 95.4% access to mobile phone. About 60% of households in the poorest quintile have access to mobile phone.