Earlier this week, the World Bank made an announcement of historic proportions: By the end 2015, the percentage of the global population living in extreme poverty is projected to drop under 10% — for the first time ever.
“This is the best story in the world today,” World Bank president Jim Yong Kim said in a statement. “These projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty.”
The World Bank measures extreme poverty as living on less than $US1.90 a day.
As the BBC notes, the 10% figure is the result of a major 25 year trend:
• In 1990, 37.1% of the population lived in extreme poverty
• In 1999, 29% of the population lived in extreme poverty
• In 2012, 12.8% of world’s population
The World Banks says that the decline is mainly due to economic development in East Asia. In 1990, the region contained 50% of the global poor, while today that’s down to 12%. By the end of 2015, Sub-Saharan Africa will have the greatest concentration of extreme poverty, housing about half of the global population.
That’s a troubling statistic, considering that the region is also in the middle of a world-shaping population boom.
“More than half of global population growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa,” the United Nations reports. “Of the additional 2.4 billion people projected to be added to the global population between 2015 and 2050, 1.3 billion will be added in Africa.”
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