Poverty rates around the world

According to the United Nations, 780 000 million people suffer from extreme poverty today. More precisely, more than 11% of the population live underneath the international poverty line, with less than 1.90 dollars a day. What is the reality behind these shocking rates?

Poverty rates

  • 3,4 billion people live with less than 5,5 dollars a day
  • 1,9 billion people live with less than 3,20 dollars a day
  • 85% of people living underneath the international poverty line are located in Sub-Saharan Africa and in South Asia
  • India accounts for more than 170 million poor people, or a quarter of the world’s poorest population
  • More than 160 million children will most likely not overcome poverty by 2030

half of the most destitute individuals live in sub saharan africa

In the past years, impoverishment has diminished around the world: poverty rates have decreased by 50% since the start of the 21st century. However, behind this seemingly progressive trend lies increasingly more horrifying inequalities: while economic growth has prospered in Asia, poverty rates have deteriorated in Africa. Although poverty rates have decreased from 54% to 41% in 25 years, the amount of people living with less than 1.90 dollars a day has increased, going from 278 to 400 million Africans as a result of their population boom. Thus, in 2015, half of the world’s poorest population lived in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The instability of certain states as well as the copious conflicts in the African and Middle Eastern regions have seriously reinforced extreme poverty in these zone of the globe.

Devastating life conditions

What does it mean to live with less than 1.90 dollars a day? First of all, the difficulty to access one’s essential needs: food, shelter, clothes. Second of all, the deprivation of facilities that make it challenging to access clean water, electricity, schooling, toilets, sanitation, or even information. Apart from these denials, poverty is also a breeding ground for societal exclusion, the inability to express oneself, and finally to have agency over one’s role in society.

Poverty rates are taking more and more time to decline

More than a billion people in the world have been able to overcome extreme poverty in the past 25 years. However, the World Bank worries: the rate of decline in poverty levels has dangerously slowed down! Between 1990 and 2013, the rate of extreme poverty went from 36% to 11%. A rate that has declined only by a little since…

What are the solutions to overcome poverty in the world?

In more than half of the world’s countries, poverty rates are inferior to 3%. The United Nation’s objective aiming to reduce the rate of people living in extreme poverty to 3% by 2030 is however far from being achieved. For Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank until January 2019: “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.”

To respond to this vital challenge, Break Poverty Foundation has defined three pillars of intervention:



Credits : Ibrahim Riftah, Unsplash.