Poverty Forecasts

The World Bank's definition of "extreme poverty" has been revised to living on less than $1.90 per day from $1.25 per day, reflecting the latest updates in purchasing power parities. This table shows poverty rates by region -- and the absolute number of people that fall under this threshold. The estimate for 2012 puts the number of extremely poor people at 900 million, or 12.8 percent of global population. Poverty in Africa exceeded that of other regions, and stood at 42.6%. The 2012 estimate represents continued progress in poverty reduction as the revised headcount in 2011 was 987 million people (14.2 percent of global population).

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Global poverty is assessed with the re-estimated poverty line

Share of population below $1.90 a day (2011 PPP) (%)   Historical     Headline   Projection
Region 1990 1999 2011   2012   2015
               
East Asia and Pacific 60.6 37.5 8.5   7.2   4.1
Eastern Europe and Central Asia 1.9 7.8 2.4   2.1   1.7
Latin America and the Caribbean 17.8 13.9 5.9   5.6   5.6
Middle East and North Africa - - -   -   -
South Asia 50.6 41.8 22.2   18.8   13.5
Sub-Saharan Africa 56.8 58.0 44.4   42.7   35.2
Developing world 44.4 34.3 16.5   14.9   11.9
World 37.1 29.1 14.1   12.7   9.6
Millions of people below $1.90 a day (2011 PPP)   Historical     Headline   Projection
Region 1990 1999 2011   2012   2015
               
East Asia and Pacific 995.5 689.4 173.1   147.2   82.6
Eastern Europe and Central Asia 8.8 36.8 11.4   10.1   4.4
Latin America and the Caribbean 78.2 71.1 35.3   33.7   29.7
Middle East and North Africa - - -   -   -
South Asia 574.6 568.0 361.7   309.2   231.3
Sub-Saharan Africa 287.6 374.6 393.6   388.8   347.1
World          1,958.6 1,751.5 983.3   896.7   702.1

Source: PovcalNet 2015.

Note: Poverty estimates based on the $1.90 poverty line and 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP) prices. Box O.1 of the report explains how the global poverty estimates were calculated. Regional aggregates for the Middle East and North Africa are omitted because of lack of sufficient observations.

a. Given the production lags for household surveys, 2012 is the latest year for which the World Bank is able to produce regional and global poverty estimates. All numbers for 2015 and beyond are statistical projections based on growth scenarios and distributional assumptions, and should be treated with considerable circumspection.

b. Even though five countries in the Middle East and North Africa region are omitted from the database of country-level poverty estimates, poverty estimates for these countries are calculated for the purposes of global poverty estimation (see box O.1). The 2011 and 2012 poverty estimates for this region implied by these global estimates are 2.4 and 2.3 percent, respectively.