The World Bank on Wednesday reported a 10-year low in the global poverty rate, with the number of people living on less than $1.90 per day falling from 11.2% in 2013 to 10% in 2015.
That’s a difference of 68.3 million people.
Poverty rates dropped everywhere except the Middle East and North Africa, where ongoing conflicts in Syria and Yemen have driven the rate from 2.6% in 2013 to 5% in 2015 (a difference of 9.1 million people).
Countries that experienced a notable decrease in poverty between 2013 and 2015 include:
- Sub-Saharan Africa (42.5% to 41.1%)
- South Asia (16.2% to 12.4%)
- Latin America/Caribbean (4.6% to 4.1%)
- East Asia/Pacific (3.6% to 2.3%)
- Europe and Central Asia (1.6% to 1.5%)
South Asia has made remarkable progress, experiencing a 35% drop in poverty between 1990 and 2015 (compared to a 25% global average).
“Over the last 25 years, more than a billion people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty, and the global poverty rate is now lower than it has ever been in recorded history,” reports the World Bank. “This is one of the greatest human achievements of our time.”
The rate of reduction is slowing, however, thanks to political upheaval and conflict in low-income countries. And while the World Bank had hoped to see the global average drop to 3% by 2030, it is likely Sub-Saharan Africa will remain in double digits for years to come.
On a brighter note, the World Bank’s preliminary forecast for 2018 is 8.6%.
Editor’s note: It’s great to see long term trends that show the world overall is improving. If you are knowledgeable of the Malthusian Problem and the modern theory that affluence counters this problem, then you know that this trend may prevent the war, famine and disease that comes with world over population.