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Global Poverty and the New Bottom Billion: What if Three-quarters of the World?s Poor Live in Middle-income Countries?

Listed author(s):
  • Andy Sumner


    (Institute of Development Studies, Sussex)

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    This paper argues that the problem of global poverty has changed because most of the world?s poor no longer live in poor countries, meaning low-income countries (LICs). In the past, poverty was viewed predominantly as a LIC issue. Nowadays such simplistic assumptions/classifications can be misleading because a number of the large countries that have graduated into the middle-income (MIC) category still have large numbers of poor people. We estimate that in 1990 some 93 per cent of the world?s poor people lived in LICs. In contrast, we estimate that in 2007-2008 some three-quarters of the world?s approximately 1.3 billion poor people now live in MICs; only about a quarter of the poor (about 370 million) live in the remaining 39 LICs, which are mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. (?)

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    File Function: First version, 2010
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    Paper provided by International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth in its series Working Papers with number 74.

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    Length: 35
    Date of creation: Nov 2010
    Publication status: Published by UNDP - International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth , November 2010, pages 1-35
    Handle: RePEc:ipc:wpaper:74
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    1. Owen Barder, 2009. "What is Poverty Reduction?," Working Papers 170, Center for Global Development.
    2. Owen Barder, 2009. "Beyond Planning: Markets and Networks for Better Aid," Working Papers 185, Center for Global Development.
    3. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2007. "Absolute poverty measures for the developing world, 1981-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4211, The World Bank.
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