World’s Extreme Poverty Cut in Half Since 1990

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The share of people living in extreme poverty around the world continued to decline in recent years despite financial crises and surging food prices, the World Bank said today.

The bank said preliminary estimates for 2010 showed that the world’s extreme poverty rate — people living below $1.25 a day — had fallen to less than half of its 1990 value. That meets the first Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty from its 1990 level, before its 2015 deadline, the Washington-based development institution said.

For 2008, the latest year with full global data available, about 1.29 billion — roughly 22% of the developing world’s population — lived below $1.25 a day. In 1981, 1.94 billion people lived in extreme poverty. The bank’slatest figures are based on more than 850 household surveys in about 130 countries. The region with the highest extreme poverty rate was Sub-Saharan Africa, where about 47% lived below $1.25 a day.

Source: Wall Street Journal (link opens in a new window)