A third of Russians live in poverty, according to Sergey Mironov, speaker of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament. Rosstat’s official statistics strongly understate the number of people living below the poverty line. In Mironov’s words, there are altogether 42-45 million poor people in Russia.
The difference between the richest 10% and the poorest 10% in Russia is increasing yearly. According to Rosstat’s figures, the difference was 13.9 times in 2000, rising to 16.8 times by 2007. Independent experts estimate that the richest 10% in Russia are now as many as 25 times richer than the poorest 10%.
According to the data of the Federation Council, food prices and tariffs on utilities, transport and communications are rising two to three times faster than people’s income. In Mironov’s words, the real income of the Russian population will decrease next year due to the rise in living costs.