World

Zimbabweans Finding It Easier to Get By

by Mitchell Ogisi

Nearly half as many struggling to afford food in 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Zimbabweans appear to be benefiting from two consecutive years of economic growth and efforts to bring hyperinflation under control. Eighteen percent of Zimbabweans surveyed by Gallup in 2011 report "living comfortably" on their present household incomes -- double the 9% who said so in 2009. The 16% who reported they are "finding it very difficult" to get by is down significantly from 31% in 2009.

Zimbabweans Are Finding It Easier to Get By

With inflation at 231 million percent in 2008 and underemployment affecting four out of five adults, Zimbabwe abandoned its dollar in 2009 and allowed citizens to trade in U.S. dollars and other currencies. Hyperinflation eased and Zimbabwe's GDP (PPP) per capita began to grow for the first time in decades, soaring 7% in 2009 and 10% in 2010.

Zimbabweans' outlooks on their personal economic situations improved dramatically over this period. In 2011, 39% of Zimbabweans reported they did not have enough money at times in the past year to buy food they or their families needed, down from 73% in 2009 and 80% in 2008. Now that they no longer need to pay 10 million Zimbabwean dollars for a loaf of bread, many Zimbabweans are finding such basics more affordable. A sizable percentage, however, are still struggling.

More Zimbabweans Are Able to Afford Food

Bottom Line

Zimbabweans are now the most likely in Southern Africa to say that they are finding it easier to get by. These data suggest many Zimbabweans are benefiting from the government's effort to bring hyperinflation under control and lower prices.

Zimbabwe is on a path to recovery with GDP growth, but the country's economic future remains shaky, particularly with a large deficit. The coalition government has managed to keep the economy from plunging into serious crisis. At the same time, political tensions are growing with the possibility of elections in the near future. Election-related violence and instability may threaten to derail the clear economic gains Zimbabweans are currently enjoying.

For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.

Survey Methods

Results are based on 1,000 face-to-face interviews with adults, aged 15 or older, and were conducted in 2009, 2010, and 2011. For results based on total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.

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