IRIN, the United Nations news agency, ran a feature disclosing that Jordanian citizens currently living in 40 of the kingdom’s municipalities are living below the poverty line. Yes, that’s 40 out of 110 municipalities out there! And you wonder why Jordanians are teased about being grim! I mean really, is this not just a killer!

Jordanians in 40 out of 101 of the country’s municipalities live below the poverty line despite an overall decline in national poverty levels over the past few years, according to a senior government official. Twenty of these municipalities, meanwhile, are considered extremely poor.

"There are still 40 municipalities in Jordan where people live below the poverty line, and 20 of them registered the highest rate of poverty," said Ministry of Social Development Secretary-General Mahmoud Alaymat at a recent lecture at the Jordanian University of Science and Technology. The 20 "very poor" municipalities include those in the governorates of Mafraq and Zarqa, north-east of Amman, some districts within the capital and certain municipalities along the Jordan Valley, explained Alaymat.

But … in all of this there is a little sprinkling of relatively good news:

In Jordan, the poverty line is equated with a yearly income of US$553 per capita. According to official data, the percentage of the population living at or under this figure is 14 percent, down from 21.3 percent in 1997.
Source: [IRIN]