Fewer people are living in extreme poverty around the world, but the decline in poverty rates has slowed, raising concerns about achieving the goal of ending poverty by 2030 and pointing to the need for increased pro-poor investments, the World Bank finds.
The percentage of people living in extreme poverty globally fell to a new low of 10 percent in 2015 — the latest number available — down from 11 percent in 2013, reflecting steady but slowing progress, World Bank data show. The number of people living on less than $1.90 a day fell during this period by 68 million to 736 million.
“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. This is one of the greatest human achievements of our time,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “But if we are going to end poverty by 2030, we need much more investment, particularly in building human capital, to help promote the inclusive growth it will take to reach the remaining poor. For their sake, we cannot fail.”
Despite the tremendous progress in reducing extreme poverty, rates remain stubbornly high in low-income countries and those affected by conflict and political upheaval.
The estimates will be published in “Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2018: Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle,” a report to be released on Oct. 17, End Poverty Day.
About half of the world’s countries now have poverty rates below 3 percent, but the report finds that the world as a whole is not on track to achieve the target of less than 3 percent of the world living in extreme poverty by 2030. In the 25 years from 1990 to 2015, the extreme poverty rate dropped an average of a percentage point per year – from nearly 36% to 10%. But the rate dropped only one percentage point in the two years from 2013 to 2015.
The deceleration in global numbers stems mainly from an increasing concentration of extreme poverty in regions where poverty reduction has lagged. A case in point is Sub-Saharan Africa, where, under all but the most optimistic scenarios, poverty will remain in double digits by 2030, absent significant shifts in policy. Slowing declines in poverty also reflect falling commodity prices, conflict, and other economic challenges for developing countries.
The World Bank’s preliminary forecast is that extreme poverty has declined to 8.6 percent in 2018.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Decline of Global Extreme Poverty Continues but Has Slowed: World Bank