Living Standard Measurement Survey (LSMS)

Living Standard Measurement Survey (LSMS) is a multi-purpose survey conducted near households and until the year 2012 it was one of the main sources of information to measure living conditions, the situation of poverty and to ensure a necessary tool to help policy makers in monitoring and developing social programs. The necessary measurements are based on Household Consumption.    

Living Standard Measurement Survey (LSMS) was conducted in the context of continuing monitoring of poverty and the creation of a policy evaluation system in the framework of the National Strategy for Economic and Social Development (NSESD), now days National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI).

Quality report


13-12-2024 Income and Living Conditions in Albania2023
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Living Standard Measurement Survey, 2012 (LSMS) includes a sample of 6,671 households that constitute the survey units. The sample is chosen randomly by two rounds of selection. The sample frame was provided from Population and Housing Census done on October 2011. In the first round, 834 Primary Selection Units (PSUs) have been chosen randomly to represent the whole territory of the country. Then, 8 households for each PSU were chosen to be interviewed in the second round through a procedure of systematic sample. To handle cases of non-response or no contact other 4 households for each PSU were chosen as substitutes that ensured the target of 6,671 completed questionnaires near the households.

The methodology of the 2012 LSMS has been kept similar with the surveys conducted in the previous years. However, the geographic domains of analysis have been expanded to include the 12 prefectures of Albania, by urban and rural strata, compared to four geographic regions (Central, Coastal, Mountain, and Tirana) by urban and rural strata defined previously as domains for the survey. This required a considerable increase in the sample size from 3600 to 6671 households[1]making possible to calculate indicators of living standard for 24 strata and even for the four main areas of the country in order to compare the regional results to those from the 2002, 2005 and 2008 surveys and study the regional trends for various indicators.[i]


Legal Basis

  • Law No.17/2018 on Official Statistics;

  • Official Statistics National Program.


Main Variables:

  1. Poverty indicators by prefecture.
  2. Poverty indicators by region.
  3. Average monthly expenditures by type and region.
  4. Percentage of real consumption per capita by regions.
  5. The highest diploma attained for persons 21 years and over by area and economic status.




Living Standard Measurement Survey (LSMS), 2002, 2005, 2008, 2012.



Monetary Poverty:

The cost of basic needs methodology (Ravallion and Bidani, 1994) was used to compute the monetary poverty line.

Following Ravallion and Bidani (1994), the focus was on the food basket consumed by the individuals in the second to the fourth[ii] lowest deciles. Taking into consideration the FAO[2] recommendations on the minimum calorie requirements according to age and sex, and adjusting these to the population distribution in Albania in 2001[3], it was estimated that the per capita required calorie intake was set at 2,288 calories per day. The non food component of the poverty line was calculated disregarding, taking into consideration the percentage of non food expenditure of those households that spend for food consumption an amount approximately equivalent to the food poverty line. The food poverty line or extreme poverty line was set at 3,047 ALL per month, whereas the poverty line has been set at 4,891 ALL per month at constant prices (2002).[iii]

All the calculations done, based in 2005, 2008 and 2012 surveys have as comparable basis the 2002. For this reason all results are deflated to bring the real values, which mean that they are cleaned from the influence of the price changes in the respective periods.

This methodology first calculates a food poverty line, or the cost of obtaining a certain minimum amount of calories, and then augments it by making an allowance for non food basic necessities. The non food component is calculated as the average of non food share expenditures of households assuming that they spent for food roughly the same amount as the food poverty line.

Non-monetary poverty

The non-monetary poverty is measured through indicators that are not related to the monetary aspect, but take into account the access to basic services like water supply, sanitation system, electricity supply ect. and their quality. It is often measured by Unmet Basic Needs (UBN) Index in the attempt to provide a synthetic picture of the non income dimensions that complements the analysis of the income dimension of poverty. The five indicators that are pulled together in the analysis to compute UBN are: inadequacy of water and sanitation (both unavailable running water and piped WC in the dwelling), inadequacy of housing conditions (as perceived by the household), inadequate power supply (power shut off for 6 hours or more per day), overcrowding of the dwelling (3 or more persons per room) and inadequate education of the household head (with primary or less). A household is defined as UBN-poor when two or more of these basic needs are unmet, and to be in extreme UBN-poverty when three or more are unmet.

Unmet Basic Needs (UBN):

-       Inadequacy in water and sanitation

-       Inadequacy in housing condition

-       Inadequacy in energy supply

-       Overcrowding of the dwelling

-       Inadequacy in the education of the household head

After publishing the revised data for population 2001-2014 in May 2014, the data from LSMS 2005, 2008 and 2012 are revised.

[1] Until 2008 the sample size has been set to 3600 households representative for four regions (Central, Coastal, Mountain and Tirana) according to agro-ecological and socio-economic criteria and urban rural.

[2]Food and Agriculture Organization.

[3] Reference population was the population taken from Housing and Census Population April 2001.

[i]Coastal Area: Lezhë, Kurbin, Kavajë, Mallakastër, Lushnjë Delvinë, Sarandë, Durrës, Fier, Vlorë. Central Area: Devoll, Kolonjë, Pogradec, Mirditë, Pukë, Malësi e Madhe, Mat, Kuçovë, Skrapar, Krujë, Peqin, Gjirokastër, Përmet, Tepelenë, Shkodër, Elbasan, Berat, Korçë. Mountain Area: Kukës, Has, Tropojë, Bulqizë, Dibër, Gramsh, Librazhd. Tirana include: The urban area of Tirana city.

[ii] Decile is about sharing a data string to ten equal parts by the values of the indicators listed in ascending way. Deciles were calculated from the per capita consumption aggregate already adjusted for price differences. The first decile was excluded in order to avoid influencing the basket with patterns that risk being the result of some outliers.

[iii]The LSMS collect all the information necessary to calculate the main components of the consumption aggregate: food consumption (both purchased and consumed from own production), non-food expenses (clothing, household articles etc.), utilities (gas, telephone, electricity etc), education and durables.