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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

32 Million Living Under Poverty Line

Thirty-two million Russians are earning less than the government calculates they need to survive, Interfax reported.

The figure, which amounts to 21.8 percent of the population, is up slightly from a year ago, Interfax said late last week, citing the State Statistics Committee. The government has set the official subsistence wage at 423 rubles ($70) a month.

The figures may not be as dire as they sound, since many Russians underreport their income, and many supplement their wages by growing their own food.

Interfax reported earlier in the week that the average income in Russia rose faster than inflation -- which was 11 percent in 1997 -- during the past year, and now exceeds 1,000 rubles ($170) a month.