inflation3.jpgThe cost of living between rural and urban areas continues to widen due to high tariffs for utilities and basic commodities with an estimated 81% of the country’s population said to be living below the poverty datum line.

Living in Zimbabwe’s urban areas is nine times more expensive than living in the rural areas according to a study conducted by regional research firm, Econometer Global Capital.

Statistical data for the month of January and February gathered in the country’s 10 provinces shows the cost of living for an average family of six living in the rural areas is US$112 per month compared to US$467 for the semi-urban population, while urbanites require US$1 025 per month.

Econometer Global Capital Head of Research, Mr Takunda Mugaga says the majority of Zimbabweans are living beyond their means as they earn US$8,50 per day though spending an estimated US$12,50.

The variability of income sources however undermines the process of coming up with an objective poverty datum line with 10 leading economists interviewed by the research firm placing the average consumer basket at US$650.

Outside formal activities, there is no consistency in income for most Zimbabweans but the wide rich poor gap is evident.