Dec 4, 2017

Can extreme poverty ever be eradicated?

Posted by in categories: employment, food, sustainability

Poverty rates have fallen faster in the past 30 years than at any other time on record. The UN wants extreme poverty to disappear by 2030. We assess the data to see if this is achievable.

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It is estimated that somebody escapes extreme poverty every 1.2 seconds. According to the World Bank, anyone on less than $1.90 per day is living in extreme poverty unable to afford basic food, clothing, healthcare and shelter.

Absolute poverty rates have fallen faster in the past 30 years than in any other time on record. This is a remarkable achievement but the task of taking people put of the worst poverty remains a huge challenge. The impressive fall is the result of changes in just two countries, China and India.

In the 1980s the majority of people in both of these countries were living in extreme poverty. But now the share of the poorest has fallen to 21% in India, and less than 2% in China.

Increased productivity in farms and a mass migration from poor rural areas to the booming cities enabled many Chinese and Indian people to better their lives. Asia is moving into a new phase but can other parts of the world copy their model of moving people to factory jobs in cities?

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