A fifth of the planet still lives in extreme poverty

A fifth of the planet still lives in extreme poverty

By agency reporter
26 Dec 2013

Research by Gallup World, the major global polling organisation, indicates that a fifth of the planet's population still faces extreme poverty.

Income inequality across the world continues to grow, and tackling poverty -- along with climate change, human rights violation, human displacement and violent conflict – remains one of the major challenges of the 21st century.

Gallup's self-reported household income data across 131 countries indicates that more than one in five residents (22 per cent) live on $1.25 per day or less – the World Bank's definition of "extreme poverty" – the organisation reports on its website.

Around one in three (34 per cent) live on no more than $2 per day, says Gallup. The World Bank Group recently set a new goal of reducing the worldwide rate of extreme poverty to no more than three per cent by 2030, but Gallup's data suggest meeting that goal will require substantial growth and job creation in many countries. In 86 countries, more than thre per cent of the population lives on $1.25 per day or less.

Gallup's worldwide income data offers a fresh perspective on commonly agreed poverty thresholds. These measures include the proportion of a population living on $1.25 per day or less (the average poverty line for the world's poorest 10 to 20 countries) and the proportion living on $2 per day or less (the average of the national poverty lines for developing countries).

Poverty estimates reported in Gallup's database adopt these definitions based on self-reported per-capita household income data gathered between 2006 and 2012 and expressed in international dollars (calculated using the World Bank's individual consumption PPP conversion factor).

The ten countries with the highest proportion of residents living on $1.25 per day or less are all in sub-Saharan Africa. In each of them, more than two-thirds of residents are living in extreme poverty; in Burundi and Liberia, that proportion nears 90 per cent.

Combining results from 27 sub-Saharan African countries for which data are available reveals that 54 per cent of residents are living in extreme poverty – easily the highest proportion among global regions worldwide.

By contrast, in the economically developed regions of Australia and New Zealand, Europe (excluding the Balkans), and the US and Canada, no more than one per cent of the population lives on $1.25 per day or less, reports Gallup.

* Full report here: http://www.gallup.com/poll/166565/one-five-worldwide-living-extreme-pove...

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