Just The Facts

Eradicating Extreme Poverty Soon?

Having met an earlier goal of reducing extreme poverty, can the world end it?

Takeaways


  • As recently as 1990, 35% of all people on earth were in a state of extreme poverty.
  • In absolute terms, there are now about 1.1 billion fewer people in extreme poverty today.
  • About a third of all people in extreme poverty around the world today live in South Asia.

1. As recently as 1990, less than three decades ago, 35% of all people on earth were in a state of extreme poverty.

2. In absolute terms, there are now about 1.1 billion fewer people in extreme poverty today.

3. The predecessor to the Sustainable Development Goals set in 2015 were the UN’s Millennium Development Goals set in 2000.

4. The latter aimed to cut in half the share of people living in extreme poverty in 1990 by the year 2015. That goal was more than met.

5. East Asia – especially China – experienced an enormous transition out of extreme poverty during that span.

6. East Asia’s population share living in that condition dropped from about 60% to just 3.5% — by a factor of 17.

7. In a global context, that matters greatly since more than a fifth of the overall world population lives in East Asia.

8. As recently as 1990, half of all people in extreme poverty could still be found in East Asia. Today, just 9.3% of the global poor reside there.

9. South Asia, anchored by populous India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, could be the next region to come close to eliminating extreme poverty, provided it can follow East Asia’s progress on poverty reduction since 1990.

10. About a third of all people in extreme poverty around the world today live in South Asia – a higher percentage than the region’s overall share of the world population (one quarter).

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, World Bank

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