The poorest population is shrinking with sizeable economic progress of the several previous years. It started in raw material industries eventually to spread to manufacturing. People with incomes below the subsistence level made 29.8 million, last April into June, to account for 20.8 per cent of Russia's total population, on preliminary estimations-as against 33.7 million, or 23.5 per cent, for the second quarter-year 2003.
The gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing, too. Average revenues of the 10 per cent top-richest exceeded those of the 10 per cent poorest 15.2-fold, April-June, and 15-fold in the same months last year.
The subsistence income has risen by 13.4 per cent since last year with staple goods prices going up. Leading price rises are essential foodstuffs and consumer services, which statisticians take into account in calculating the lowest-income population's consumer basket.