The amount of people living in extreme poverty is plummeting by an average of more than 100,000 people per day.
A person is considered to be living in extreme poverty if they subsist on, or less, than 1.90 international dollars a day. International dollars are hypothetical units of currency based off the amount of goods or services a U.S. dollar could purchase in America.
There were nearly 1.1 billion people on earth in 1820, with about 1 billion of those individuals living in what is considered extreme poverty, according to World Bank economists Francois Bourguignon and Christian Morrisson. By the 1990s, the world’s population exploded to over 7 billion, with 2 billion living in extreme poverty.
From 1990 to 2015, the number of people worldwide in dire poverty shrank to 750 million. Put differently, that figure has, on average, fallen by 137,000 people every day over the last 25 years.
Researchers have found some incredibly interesting trends in the decline of world poverty. People living in extreme poverty was not all that uncommon in the wealthiest nations until recently, the World Bank reports. In most of today’s richest nations, the majority of the population lived in some level of poverty just a few generations ago. The rapid progress is due to improvements in medicine and the economy, among other factors.
Despite making impressive strides towards pulling people out of poverty, many of today’s wealthiest nations still have some fraction of their populations living in extreme poverty. Researchers point to disparities in income levels, often called “income inequality,” as the main factor for this phenomenon.
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