Relative Poverty in Russia: Evidence from Different Thresholds
The official method of measuring poverty in Russia is based on an absolute approach that uses an expertly calculated subsistence level as a poverty line. However, there is an ongoing debate about the possible use of other approaches to measuring poverty. This study focuses on identifying the relative ‘poverty line’ relevant to contemporary Russian society as a threshold of high poverty risk. Drawing on representative all-Russian surveys, the authors conclude that the relative poverty thresholds set at 0.5 and 0.75 times the median per capita family income identify different subgroups of the poor. A median threshold of 0.75 highlights poverty of the elderly, who are not considered to be poor by the absolute approach officially used in Russian statistics, but need attention in terms of social policy.