Survey Finds, Over 60% of FSM Residents Are Spending More Than They're Making

-Press Release-

(Pohnpei, FSM) - The FSM Office of Statistics, Budget and Economic Management, Overseas Development Assistance, and Compact Management (SBOC) has released its latest publication of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) 2013/14. The survey shows that about 63% (2 out of every 3) of households in the FSM in 2013/14 incurred dissaving; in other words, their expenditure is more than their income. These are typically households whose annual income is below $15,000. Additionally, in 2014 prices, average monthly household disposable income has declined from $1,433 to $1,092 indicating a 3.3% loss of purchasing power each year since 2005.

Other findings in the report include:

1.       Household Income - The total household income in 2013/14 was estimated at $283 million. The main broad income categories, listed in order of significance to FSM households, are as follows: (i) employment income, (ii) regular transfers, (iii) other casual income, and (iv) property income. The estimated national average annual household income in 2013/14 was $16,950. The average annual household income was reportedly highest in Pohnpei at $22,293, then Kosrae at $18,461, Yap at $17,768 and lowest in Chuuk at $11,398.

2.       Household Expenditure - The total household expenditure in 2013/14 was estimated at $237 million. The estimated average annual household expenditure in 2013/14 was $14,219. The average annual household expenditure was reportedly highest in Pohnpei at $18,159 then Kosrae at $16,072, Yap at $13,801 and lowest in Chuuk at $10,358.

3.       Household Savings– Nationally, FSM households make an average saving of $2,731.Households which were likely to make savings (their expenditures less than their income) were those with an average annual income of $15,000 or more. Around 37% of the households in the FSM had annual income of this level. The remaining 63% of households earns less than $15,000 and were not making any savings.

4.       Demographic characteristics – The FSM population size in 2013 was estimated at 103,382 compared to 102,843 in 2010, indicating a population increase of 0.5% representing about 539 more people. The average household size remains about the same with 6.1 persons per household in 2010 and 6.2 in 2013.

The report can be downloaded: Main Analysis Report.

As a national survey, the conduct of the HIES underwent an extensive consultation, thorough preparation and careful planning involving key stakeholders, survey experts from both the FSM and international/sub-regional organizations to ensure its findings are credible, reliable and relevant.

According to the Director of SBOC, Ms. Evelyn Adolph, “the survey results provide useful information on socio-economic situation of FSM households. This information will inform policy makers in framing social developmental policies and in initiating financial measures for improving the economic conditions of the people”.

Other outputs from the FSM HIES 2013/14 that will follow this report include a poverty assessment report, which will provide a snapshot of the standard of living in the FSM, and subject-specific factsheets. It is hoped that these specialized and shorter reports will encourage and help the casual readers to benefit from the key survey findings.