In the 1980s Mozambique was one of the poorest countries in the world. Since then, the country has recovered from civil war to grow by an average of 7 per cent each year. According to the latest national poverty assessment, carried out as part of the Inclusive Growth in Mozambique project, the number of people living below the poverty line, without access to basic human needs such as food and shelter, has fallen from two-thirds of the population in 1996 to just under half by 2014.
This impressive fall in poverty hides a deep divide. In urban areas the average poverty rate is now close to one-third, but poverty continues to affect more than half of the population in rural areas, where more than 70 per cent of Mozambicans live. Moreover, while the national poverty rate has fallen, the population of the country has grown. As such the actual number of people living in poverty remains about the same.