The poverty statistics released by the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) in February 2011 showed Benguet to be the least poor among 81 provinces in the entire country.  In Family Poverty Incidence, Benguet had 4 percent higher only than the highly urbanized cities of the National Capital Region.  The rest of the provinces in CAR have an average Family Poverty Incidence of 28.8 percent higher than the national Family Poverty Incidence of 20.9 percent.  With Benguet factored in CAR’s Family Poverty Incidence is 17.1.


The 2012 Philippine Human Development Report corroborated this information with Benguet ranked as number 1 among provinces in the Human Development Index (HDI).   The HDI combines measures of life expectancy, school enrollment, literacy and income that would show a broader development picture which is not based on income alone.  The closer the HDI to 1, the better.


Benguet has an HDI of .778.  Abra, Mountain Province, Apayao, Ifugao and Kalinga are ranked 20, 40, 42, 52 and 53 with HDIs of .700, .651, .649, .632, and .628 respectively. 

Benguet has an extensive highland agriculture; it has fast urbanization and includes within its territory the city of Baguio, the only highly-urbanized city in North Philippines.   It had also been host to big companies like large-scale mining and mega hydro-electric dams.


The province also has the most paved road in the region.  As of end of 2011, it has a total of 328-kilometer paved roads with Ifugao coming-in at poor second with 161-kilometer paved roads.


However, a downside to the development of Benguet is the depletion of its natural capital. 


It is the most mined-out province in CAR and is losing its forest faster than other CAR provinces.   In 2009, it lost 1,362 hectares of its forest cover accounting for 79 percent of the total forest cover that was lost in the region during that year.