Huge achievement! Extreme poverty drops by 90% in last 100 years; this 1 chart shows how far we have come

By: | Updated: August 6, 2018 2:35 PM

Contrary to the common belief that the world has not become a better place, extreme poverty has dropped by almost 90% in the last 100 years, which is a huge achievement, a research has shown.

In 1910, the data show, 82.4% of people were living in extreme poverty, which shrank to a mere 9.6% in 2015In 1910, the data show, 82.4% of people were living in extreme poverty, which shrank to a mere 9.6% in 2015. (Image: Reuters)

Contrary to the common belief that the world has not become a better place, data show that extreme poverty has dropped by almost 90% in the last 100 years. In 1910, 82.4% of people were living in extreme poverty, which shrank to a mere 9.6% in 2015. Presently, the World Bank’s poverty line is $1.90 per day.

“In 1950 three-quarters of the world were living in extreme poverty; in 1981 it was still 44%. For 2015 – the last year for which we currently have data – research suggests that the share in extreme poverty has fallen below 10%,” Our World in Data, an Oxford University project said, adding that it’s a huge achievement.

The research pointed out that people make the general mistake of thinking that the world is static and nothing much is changing. However, if looked from the long-term perspective, the world has made remarkable progress in eradicating extreme poverty. “To see where we are coming from we must go far back in time. 30 or even 50 years are not enough,” the report added.

In 1820, only a tiny elite enjoyed higher standards of living, while the vast majority of people lived in conditions that we would call extreme poverty today, the report said, adding that ss more and more parts of the world industrialised over a period of time, the subsequent increase in productivity led to the upliftment of people from poverty.

The World Bank also made a similar observation recently. The international body said that since the 1990s, nearly 1.1 billion people have escaped extreme poverty, which is 250,000 people every day or 200 people every minute. Chief Executive Office of the World Bank, Kristalina Georgieva, said in a tweet: The fight against extreme #poverty is far from over, but let’s not forget how far the world has come. Progress is possible!

While progress has been in the eradication of extreme poverty, it has been unevenly distributed in the world. “The reduction in extreme poverty between 2012 and 2013 was mainly driven by East Asia and Pacific (71 million fewer poor)—notably China and Indonesia—and South Asia (37 million fewer poor)—notably India,” the World Bank said.

Half of the extremely poor live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The number of poor in the region fell only by 4 million with 389 million people living on less than US$1.90 a day in 2013.

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