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Socio-Economic Characteristics

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For the 2010 northern Uganda survey, a total of 2,498 interviews were conducted in a total of 154 villages distributed throughout the four districts. 

Figure 2: Sample Distribution

Figure 2 - Sample Distribution

The dark marks show the distribution of the sample

The sample comprised an equal proportion of men and women. Only adults above the age of 18 years were selected for interview. The average age of respondents was 39 years, and 60 percent of respondents self-identified as the head of the household. Most respondents were in a marital or partner relationship (76%). The average household had 6.6 members. Reflecting the ethnic profile of the selected districts, 94 percent of respondents identified their ethnicity as Acholi.

The respondents’ average levels of education and literacy were lower than the Ugandan national average. While nationally the ability to read and write (literacy) is estimated at 67 percent of the population aged 15 or above, our survey suggests a figure of 53 percent in the selected districts of northern Uganda. This is consistent with the 2007 findings. One third (35%) of the respondents reported having no formal education and 40 percent had some, but incomplete, primary education. Less than 4 percent of respondents had completed secondary education or above. 

The average household cash income was estimated at 7,700 Ugandan Shillings (approximately US$ 3.50) in the week prior to taking the survey. However, cash income can vary over time, and households may depend on non-cash resources, such as their own agricultural production, to support their livelihood. We therefore also included a measure of asset ownership to estimate poverty.[1] The results suggest that respondents in Gulu District are, on average, better off than those in the other districts. Average asset ownership was lowest in Amuru, but the average income was the second highest. The average income was lowest in Pader, followed by Kitgum.

Table 1: Respondent Socio-demographic Characteristics, 2010 Survey

Table 1 - Respondent Socio-demographic Characteristics, 2010 Survey

* In Ugandan Shillings. At the time of survey, 1 US dollar was traded for about 2000 Ugandan Shillings.

[1] We assessed ownership of 8 items, with a resulting score ranging from 0 (no items owned) to 8 (all items owned). Asset poor are defined here as the households among the lowest quintile of asset ownership. Note that the definition is useful for comparison across districts, but it does not allow for comparison with other studies or countries because the set of assets may vary.