Which countries reduced poverty rates the most?

One of the goals of the World Bank Group is to reduce extreme poverty—defined as indexliving on less than $1.90 per day in 2011 PPP—to less than 3% by 2030. We know that the world has seen tremendous progress in reducing extreme poverty since 1990. So, where in the world has poverty reduction been most successful?

The graph below shows 15 countries that experienced the largest annual average percentage point declines in extreme poverty rate between about 2000 and 2015, out of the 114 countries for which we can measure poverty in a comparable way over this period.

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New monitoring methods and tools make development more effective

Informed decision making requires timely and relevant evidence. This holds for national logistics_management_information_system_sarah_farhatdecision makers as well as development practitioners. Here at the World Bank, we have been working on creative solutions that lower the cost of project monitoring and create feedback loops. These feedback loops allow decision makers to assess the impact of their actions and to plan course corrections where needed. They also serve as incentive to act, since most decision makers wish to avoid the possibility of their inaction being exposed in future rounds of feedback and data collection. Feedback loops thus improve development outcomes through two pathways: by providing timely and actionable information and by functioning as an accountability mechanism. SWIFT and IBM are two examples of new tools that make this kind of regular feedback affordable.

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Facing substantial investment needs, developing countries must sustainably manage debt

With just over ten years until 2030, developing countries face important and complex debt-socialmedia2.jpgchallenges around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Not least of which is how to finance the investments needed to achieve them.

Estimates suggest that developing countries face a $2.5 trillion annual financing gap to meet the SDGs. Other studies conclude that the challenge of meeting this annual financing gap is substantial in low-income countries, which would require additional annual spending of 15.5 percentage points of GDP in 2030, focused relatively evenly on infrastructure and education and health.

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Year in review: 2018 in 14 facts

As 2018 has ended extreme poverty is at the lowest level in recorded history but is yearinreview2018expected to become increasingly concentrated in one region. A record number of people have been forcibly displaced from their homes, and an influential new report confirms we’re running out of time to limit global warming. Yet, innovation and disruptive technologies are helping to bring clean energy to millions and connecting hundreds of millions of people to the financial system. These 14 facts tell a story about the challenges we face — and the actions needed to create a more inclusive, sustainable world.

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Ending hunger to end poverty, ending poverty to end hunger

Last week we had World Food Day on October 16 and World Poverty Day on October 17.capture1_39  The good news from World Poverty Day is that there is global progress on reducing extreme poverty.  Based on the latest available data, it is estimated that in 2015 there were 736 million people living on less than US$1.90/day, which compares very favorably to the 1,895 million people living in extreme poverty in 1990.  And while the world’s population grew from 5.3 billion in 1990 to 7.4 billion in 2015, the poverty rate fell from 36 percent to 10 percent or 1 percentage point per year on average over this period. 

At the same time, progress in reducing extreme poverty has been uneven. There have been sharp reductions in absolute numbers in East Asia and the Pacific and in South Asia, but the number of people living in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa has increased significantly.

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Decline of Global Extreme Poverty Continues but Has Slowed

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2018 Fewer people are living in extreme poverty around the world, but the decline in poverty rates has slowed, raising concerns about achieving theIDA goal of ending poverty by 2030 and pointing to the need for increased pro-poor investments, the World Bank finds.

The percentage of people living in extreme poverty globally fell to a new low of 10 percent in 2015 — the latest number available — down from 11 percent in 2013, reflecting steady but slowing progress, World Bank data show. The number of people living on less than $1.90 a day fell during this period by 68 million to 736 million.

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IDA17 Retrospective: Maximizing Development Impact

Leveraging IDA to meet global ambitions and evolving client needsIDA

This report examines what the International Development Association (IDA) achieved during the IDA17 period (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017), and takes a close look at how IDA continues to maximize development impact to deliver these results in a fluid and challenging global environment. This report covers three areas essential to understanding both IDA’s efforts and the environment in which it works: (1) The rapidly-evolving global economic and development landscapes; (2) The results achieved through IDA’s work with client countries and other partners; and (3) The unfinished agenda, which demands an ongoing, broad-based commitment to achieving results through IDA as the world’s global alliance for the poor.

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New country classifications by income level: 2018-2019

World Bank buildingUpdated country income classifications for the World Bank’s 2019 fiscal year are available here.

The World Bank assigns the world’s economies into four income groups — high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low. We base this assignment on GNI per capita calculated using the Atlas method. The units for this measure and for the thresholds is current US Dollars.

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Doesn’t everyone deserve a chance at a good life?

Aspirations are rising as never before across the world, thanks in large part to smartphones and the internet — will they be indexmet with opportunity or frustration? As President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim wants to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. He shares how the institution is working to improve the health and financial futures of people in the poorest countries by boosting investment and de-risking development.

TED Talk

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.