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How Have the World's Poorest Fared since the Early 1980s?

  • Shaohua Chen
  • Martin Ravallion

A new assessment is made of the developing world's progress against poverty. By the frugal $1 a day standard there were 1.1 billion poor people in 2001--almost 400 million fewer than 20 years earlier. During that period the number of poor people declined by more than 400 million in China, though half the decline was in the early 1980s and the number outside China rose slightly. At the same time the number of people in the world living on less than $2 a day rose, so that there has been a marked bunching up of people living between $1 and $2 a day. Sub-Saharan Africa has become the region with the highest incidence of extreme poverty and the greatest depth of poverty. If these trends continue, the 1990 aggregate $1 a day poverty rate will be halved by 2015, meeting the Millennium Development Goal, though only East and South Asia will reach this goal. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Research Observer.

Volume (Year): 19 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 141-169

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:19:y:2004:i:2:p:141-169
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  1. (No last name available), Himanshu, 2013. "Poverty and Food Security in India," ADB Economics Working Paper Series 369, Asian Development Bank.
  2. Chen, Shaohua & Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Is Poverty Increasing in the Developing World?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(4), pages 359-76, December.
  3. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-82, May.
  4. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Data in transition: Assessing rural living standards in Southern China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 23-56.
  5. Ravallion, Martin, 2003. "The debate on globalization, poverty, and inequality : why measurement matters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3038, The World Bank.
  6. Wade, Robert Hunter, 2004. "Is Globalization Reducing Poverty and Inequality?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 567-589, April.
  7. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-61, December.
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