The prospect of no people living in extreme poverty

Oct 2010
Sometimes, people can work together and achieve goals ahead of schedule.

Not very often, but sometimes.

The prospect of no people living in extreme poverty
For the first time in recorded history, fewer than 1 in 10 people are living in “extreme poverty,” according to a new World Bank report. Just four decades ago, more than 4 in 10 people lived at such an income level, which the bank defines as less than $1.90 a day. This progress has been so steady that many experts now ask if a zero level of extreme poverty could soon be possible.​
The reason for such speculation is that so many countries have lifted people out of the worst of living conditions that the world may have crossed a mental threshold. As more of the poor learn their plight is not inevitable, attitudes shift. According to poverty expert Esther Duflo at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the anticipation of future poverty has long exacerbated current poverty. Yet with more reports of progress, the task of alleviating poverty gets easier.​
The current goal of the World Bank and many other aid agencies is to have only three percent of people living in extreme poverty by 2030. About half of the world’s countries have already achieved that rate. Much of the progress over the past quarter century has been in Asia, especially China, India, and Indonesia.​
In 2000 the world’s countries agreed on a goal to cut poverty to half of the 1990 level by 2015. This collective effort spawned so much innovation and cooperation that the goal was reached at least five years early. Someone now escapes extreme poverty every 1.2 seconds, according to one estimate.​

More: The prospect of no people living in extreme poverty
Apr 2013
La La Land North
When I read this story, the first question that came to my mind was about the consistency and relevance of their cut-off for a poverty line. By memory, it was $1.90/day. Has that changed with the years? If so, based on what?

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