In keeping with the downward trend of poverty in Sri Lanka, the average income levels in nine districts in six provinces exceeded the poverty line of Rs. 3290, in January 2011.
According to the Department of Census and Statistics, the poverty line at national level is the minimum expenditure per person per month to fulfill basic needs.
Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts in the Western Province rank highest above the poverty line by personal expenditures per month of Rs.3665, Rs. 3486 and Rs.3575 respectively.
Personal expenditures in the other districts above the poverty level are: Kandy (Rs.3371), Nuwara Eliya (Rs. 3525), Galle (Rs.3383), Puttalam (Rs.3311), Badulla (Rs.3367) and Kegalle (Rs.3369).
Poverty levels in Matale (Rs.3257), Matara (Rs.3224), Hambantota (Rs.3171) Kurunegala (Rs.3213), Anuradhapura (Rs.3119), Polonnaruwa (Rs.3249), Moneragala (Rs.3116) and Rathnapura (Rs.3282) rank just below the poverty line.
The poverty line at national level rose rapidly in these districts. In May 2010 it was Rs.3042 in Matale, Rs.3010 in Matara, Rs.2961 in Hambantota, Rs.3000 in Kurunegala, Rs.2913 in Anuradhapura, Rs.3034 in Polonnaruwa, Rs.2909 in Moneragala and Rs.3065 in Rathnapura.
The poverty line at national level also rose rapidly since the 2002 level of Rs.1423. It was Rs.2845 in 2008, Rs 2942 in 2009, Rs. 3117 in 2010, Rs.3027 in 2010 May, Rs. 3098 in 2010 June, Rs.3097 in 2010 July, Rs. 3111 in 2010 August, Rs. 3141 in 2010 September, Rs. 3178 in 2010 October, Rs. 3213 in 2010 November and Rs. 3249 in 2010 December.
These figures do not cover the Northern and Eastern Provinces.