The number of people with incomes below the survival minimum in Russia in 2012 went down to 15.8 million people from 18 million in 2011, Russia's Statistics Agency Rosstat has reported.

The poverty rate (the percentage of people with incomes below the survival minimum) in Russia in 2012 decreased to 11.2 percent from 12.7 percent in 2011.

The highest poverty level (33.5 percent) was registered in Russia in 1992 (the number of poor people then reached 49.3 million people). The first time this level was below 20 percent was in 2004, when the poverty rate reached 17.6 percent (25.2 million people). The poverty rate decreased to 13.3 percent in 2007, with a sharp decrease in 2008-2011, when the poverty rate went down a mere 0.6 percentage points. The poverty reduction rate somewhat increased only in 2012.

The average per capita survival minimum reached 6,307 rubles (about $204) in the first quarter of 2012, 6,385 rubles in the second quarter of 2012, 6,643 rubles (about $ 206) in the third quarter of 2012, and 6,705 rubles (nearly $ 216) in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The average monthly income in the fourth quarter of 2012 was 27,400 rubles (about $885) against 24,500 rubles ($ 792) in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The Trade and Economic Development Ministry did not expect such a considerable poverty rate reduction in the country in 2012. According to the ministry's report issued in December 2012, the poverty rate was projected at 12.6 percent in 2012 and in 2013, at 12.2 percent in 2014, and 11.5 percent in 2015.

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