Extreme poverty is growing rarer

HANS ROSLING, a Swedish academic who died in 2017, became famous for telling people that the world was faring better than they believed. One of his favourite examples was the rapid decline in extreme poverty. Sadly, just as Rosling’s elegant charts and YouTube talks drilled that story into people’s minds, the facts began to change.

On September 19th the World Bank released estimates for extreme poverty in 2015, defined as living on less than $1.90 a day at 2011 purchasing-power parity. The good, Roslingish news is that poverty continued to diminish (see chart). In 2015 the extreme poor numbered 736m people, or 10% of the world. The Bank’s best guess for 2018 is 8.6%.

The bad news is that poverty is becoming harder to tackle. Over the past few decades, rapid economic growth and the expansion of welfare in Asia have borne down on extreme want there. That leaves sub-Saharan Africans as a growing majority of paupers. African poverty is especially intractable because of...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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