Poverty is a complex phenomenon with diverse economic and social dimensions. The concept of poverty differs according to countries, cultures and times. However, it is agreed that poverty is simply the inability to provide the minimum socially required and desired standard of living. It is the state of financial deprivation whose features include low consumption of food in terms of quality and quantity, poor health, low educational level and housing circumstances, inability to purchase durable goods and other financial assets and lack of reserve or security to face difficult cases such as illness, handicap, unemployment, disasters and crises.

Poverty in its general concept is the inability of the person to provide the necessary income to meet the basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, education, health and transport), which enables the individual to perform work in an acceptable manner.

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The methodology of measuring poverty adopted in Jordan is the methodology of meeting the calorie needs to measure the poverty line, and the ensuing calculation of the various indicators. The Household Expenditure and Income Survey (HEIS) is the ideal survey and the main source for measuring poverty indicators.

The importance of poverty data and measures is to raise awareness of the issue of poverty, to gain support to address it, to identify the effects of state policies, external influences and other factors on poverty, to explore situations before initiating the implementation of programs on poverty and to monitor the development of poverty, particularly with regard to the impact of policies and programs used to alleviate poverty profiles and to prepare reports on measuring and assessing poverty , reports on achieving sustainable development goals and human development reports.

The first official survey on measuring poverty in Jordan was in 1973 and a survey in 1989 titled: “Poverty Pockets Survey in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan”. In this survey, the poverty line was calculated to a model household by using standard food basket. In light of this, the percentages of absolute and abject poor household were identified, in addition to calculating the other poverty indicators. In 1994 and 2001, the World Bank experts upgraded the poverty lines for 1987 based on the consumer price index. A study on poverty was also prepared and implemented by the World Bank experts in cooperation with a national team formed for this purpose from various ministries and public institutions during 2004 after publishing the Household Expenditure and Income Survey 2002/2003 results. This was implemented on a sample of 12,792 households represented at the district level. In this survey, the poverty lines and indicators were calculated. A detailed report on the results of the poverty calculations was prepared linking them to several demographic, health, social and economic characteristics of the poor.

The poverty indicators were updated in 2006 and 2008 based on the Household Expenditure and Income Survey (HEIS) data in order to update the poverty lines and indicators that were calculated earlier based on the data of HEIS 2002/2003 and also to monitor the changes of the living and consumption patterns of the Jordanian household.

By the end of 2009, the Department of Statistics (DOS) began preparations to conduct the Household Expenditure and Income Survey – 2010. The Survey was implemented over a complete year on a sample of households totaling 13,866 represented at the Kingdom and districts levels. In mid-September 2011, the phase of updating poverty lines and indicators has started based on the HEIS data. The report on Poverty Status in Jordan was released in 2012, based on the Household Expenditure and Income Survey 2010.

This methodology, which relies on the methods of meeting the minimum basic needs of the individual and the household, consists of six main phases that can be summarized as follows:

First Phase: Estimating the daily calorie requirements for Jordanians, taking into consideration the physiological structure of the body: (by gender, age and weight in kilogram) in addition to taking into consideration the variance in daily physical activity undertaken by the individual based on individual characteristics data from the sample of the Household Expenditure and Income Survey – 2010.

Second Phase:  Estimating the actual calorie intake by individuals through converting the quantities of consumed food items by the individuals (each in their household) into calories, using pre-prepared calorie conversion coefficients based on data and standards of the Food and Agriculture Organization, in addition to data from the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, and the Jordanian Food and Drug Corporation. These coefficients enable converting the food basket of the Jordanian consumers from quantities in kilogram to calories.


Third Phase: Calculating the minimum cost of calorie by dividing the total daily expenditure by individuals on food by the actual calorie intake of the individual.

Fourth Phase: Using the average calorie cost of the lower expenditure category “First to Third Deciles”, the consumption basket for the consumption pattern of this category is used to calculate the average food poverty line for all households in the sample by multiplying the average required calories in accordance with body weight, age, sex and daily physical activity, at the average cost of one calorie. Then, the general poverty line of food in the kingdom is estimated by using the weighted rounding coefficient for all individuals in the sample to represent the population in the kingdom.

Fifth Phase: Calculating the non-food poverty line. This line is calculated by adopting the minimum cost of household expenditure on non-food items for a group of population whose food consumption is close to the food poverty line, so that expenditure percentage on non-food items is monitored to the total expenditure of this category.

The expenditure share of this category is then calculated and added to the food poverty line to reflect the general poverty line at a level that suits the living situation in Jordan. Then, evaluating the basket of non-food items and their relationship with the food basket and estimating the coefficients to measure the importance of spending on food out of the total expenditure which is called “the Orshansky coefficient”. This coefficient was adopted for all households in the Kingdom.

Through this methodology, poverty indicators could be calculated for a given period or year based on living standards which means the pattern of household expenditure on various goods and services for the household, including the proportion of expenditure on food commodities out of the total household expenditure.

Sixth Phase: In this stage, the poverty indicators of different periods (years) are compared to pre-defined year of comparison prices to provide a base for actual comparison through time according to international methodologies.

Terms of poverty


Is the inability to provide the minimum required and desired standard of living, which is a situation of financial deprivation, which is manifested in the low consumption of food (quantity and quality) ,poor health conditions, low educational level and housing status, inability to possess durable goods and other material assets, loss of reserve money or insurance to face hard cases such as illness, disability, unemployment, disasters and crises.

The general concept of poverty is the inability of a person to provide the necessary income to meet basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, education, health and transport) that enable him to perform his work in an acceptable manner.

Poverty Line:

It is the dividing line between income and consumption of the poor and the non-poor. The individual is considered to be poor if his consumption is below the minimum level of the basic needs of the individual and the minimum value of the basic needs of the individual is defined as the poverty line.


It is a unit to measure the energy the body needs to live, move and perform all the essential functions of life.

Abject Poverty Line (Food Poverty Line):

It is the level of expenditure necessary for the individual to provide basic food needs that provide him with the calories necessary to exercise his normal daily activities and stay alive.

It is defined as the numerical estimate that is measured by the required minimum expenditure to cover the individual’s and the household’s needs of calories from basic foodstuffs according to the food pattern of the community.

Absolute Poverty Line:

The level of income or expenditure necessary for the individual to meet the basic food and non-food needs related to housing, education, health and transportation.

Absolute Poverty Incidence:

It means the percentage of the population whose expenditure is below the poverty line to the total population in the Kingdom.

Poverty Gap:

The size of the total cash gap needed to raise the expenditure of the poor to the poverty line (i.e., to become non-poor).

Poverty Severity:

It is a proportionate measure that gives a picture of the extent of poverty disparities among the poor themselves. The higher the value of the index, the greater is the inequality.

Gini coefficient:

It is a coefficient that measures the degree of inequality in the distribution of total income. The index of justice improves as the value of the coefficient approaches zero and justice diminishes as it approaches the correct one.

Aims of External Trade

External trade division aims to:

Issue monthly reports and comprehensive annual publication reports covering External trade Statistics.
Providing a comprehensive statistical database for External Trade Statistics monthly   and annual reports by commodity and countries.
Monitoring of trade exchange between countries (The trade balance).
Providing the searchers, planners and decision makers with accurate information’s about External Trade.
Data sources of External Trade Statistics

Customs diclarations issued by the Jordanian Customs Department,.through the Customs offices linked to the system computerization of customs procedures which is called (AsycudaWorld System ).Asycuda World is an Automated System for Customs Data and aims to raise the efficiency of collection and contributing to trade liberalization by simplifying customs procedures and reduce the time needed for cargo clearance system, as it includes advanced concepts. This system also provides accurate administrative statistics and information  required for good planning .
Customs data from the Centers not computerized (paper copies)and the monthly reports from companies such as (Potash Company, Phosphate, and the Jordanian Petroleum Refinery Company, Royal Jordanian, the National Electricity Company, and the Ministry of Agriculture and the Indian company).The data related to the main commodities of these companies are considered as an official data by our Department .
Functions Of Workers At The Foreign Trade Division

There are (9) persons working at the Foreign Trade Division .They provide statistical information on foreign trade statistics, by bringing data from the customs offices and from the other uncomputerized  offices at the  Jordanian Customs Department Data are sorted by customs offices individually and by type of trade , Exports , Imports , Re-Exports and by month.

These data are coded, edited, and entered into PCs for data processing. After that a final detailed listing for each of exports, re-exports and imports are extracted using the program Oracle Thus Extracted results are published in monthly reports and stored in  adetailed database and annual CD.

Phases and Working Mechanism Of The External Trade Division

The first stage :

Sorting of the customs declarations:-

Guide tariff ( HS), to be issued in the last year of work where all amendments and changes should be taken into consideration .Since the establishment of the Department of Statistics, the Eternal Trade Division has been using the old tariff (BTN) of the Customs Cooperation Council, until the end of the year 1993, when the DoS has switched to use the new customs tariff system (HS) issued by the World Trade Organization since the beginning of the year 1994 till now, leading the situation to be clarified and more detailed of the goods and this also led to the ease in the classification of goods and identify customs duties which led to reduced controversy between the traders and the Customs Department .
List of countries.
Customs Offices Guide.
Guide for Measuring of  Quantities.
Guide for Means of Transport and Nationality.
Guide for the Currency used.
Sorting of computerized customs data (ASY):-

The programmer in the IT Directorate at the Department, after reciving  the file of External Trade Statistics from the Customs Department transfers the Text File into a program based Oracle.

After selecting the statistical fields from that file, the programmer sorts the information contained therein into exports, imports, re-exports and transit and  by year, month and Customs office.

Second stage:

Checking the data at the Office:-

Checking the data is done at his Division in case of detecting of errors related to the process of coding, or country of origin.

This is done for  the data sent by the offices where data are not computorized. As for the computerized data, they are checked and corrected through linking with the Modem (connected to the main Server at the  Jordanian Customs Department).

Third stage:

Data entry:-

The coded Customs Declarations are entered into PCs by data entry staff using pre-desinged  program (Oracle), where  data listing  is extracted.

For the monthly reports provided by the large companies, (Potash Company, Phosphate Company, the Jordan Petrolium Refinary Company, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Royal Jordanian, , the Indian company,  the National Electricity Company ) these reports will be coded and tabulated and  to be incorporated  with the other data.

Forth Stage :

Checking Lists (manual):

Lists shall be distributed to the auditors according to the type of disclosure (issued, imported, re-exported) provided that the above conditions are met by the auditor.

Fifth Stage :

Amendment to the Lists:

The errors are corrected in the reports from both sources and the extraction of new Lists are checked in the same way and in the case of errors either through the coding mechanism or from the input data and then the extraction of statements for the third time.

At this stage the data must be revised at a high rate where he Checkers re-check and verify the data in them.

  • Poverty Index.
  • Cash and relative poverty gap index.
  • Poverty severity Index.
  • Extreme Poverty Index.

the status of poverty in Jordan, the quality of life index, the report on the development of quality of life in Jordan (multidimensional poverty

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