Income Inequality and the Poverty of Youth in the Douala Metropolis of Cameroon
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Income Inequality and the Poverty of Youth in the Douala Metropolis of Cameroon

Authors: Nanche Billa Robert


More and more youth are doubtful of making a satisfactory labour market transition because of the present global economic instability and this is more so in Africa of the Sahara and metropolis like Douala. We use the explanatory sequential mixed method: in the first phase we randomly administered 610 questionnaires in the Douala metropolis respecting the population size of each division and its gender composition. We constructed the questionnaire using the desired values for living a comfortable life in Douala. In the second phase, we purposefully selected and interviewed 50 poor youth in order to explain in detail the initial quantitative results. We obtain the following result: The modal income class is 24,000-74,000 frs Central Africa Franc (CFA) and about 67% of the youth of the Douala metropolis earn below 75,000 frs CFA. They earn only 31.02% of the total income. About 85.7% earn below 126,000 frs CFA and about 92.14% earn below 177,000 frs CFA. The poverty-line is estimated at 177,000 frs CFA per month based on the desired predominant values in Douala and only about 9% of youth earn this sum, therefore, 91% of the youth are poor. We discovered that the salary a youth earns influences his level of poverty. Low income earners eat once or twice per day, rent low-standard houses of below 20,000 frs, are dependent and possess very limited durable goods, consult traditional doctors when they are sick, sleep and gamble during their leisure time. Intermediate income earners feed themselves either twice or thrice per day, eat healthy meals weekly, possess more durable goods, are independent, gamble and drink during their leisure time. High income earners feed themselves at least thrice per day, eat healthy food daily, inhabit high quality and expensive houses, are more stable by living longer in their neighbourhoods, like travelling and drinking during their leisure time. Unsalaried youth, are students, housewives or unemployed youth, they eat four times per day, take healthy meals daily, weekly, fortnightly or occasionally, are dependent or homeless depending on whether they are students or unemployed youth. The situation of the youth can be ameliorated through investing in the productive sector and promoting entrepreneurship as well as formalizing the informal sector.

Keywords: Income, inequality, poverty, metropolis.

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