Saturday, 14 December 2013

How much has extreme poverty fallen in emerging markets since the early 1980s?

The chart below plots the poverty rate in selected emerging markets between 1981 and 2011. Here, the poverty rate is defined as the proportion of the population living on less than $1.25 per day, adjusted for inflation and PPP. (Data are from the World Bank.) There has been a spectacular reduction in extreme poverty, of which the Chinese experience is the most remarkable. In the early 1980s, when Deng Xiaoping began farm privitisation, more than 80% of the population were living in extreme poverty. As of 2011, just over 10% of the population were living in extreme poverty. The Chinese population averaged about 1.2 billion over this time period, which implies that roughly 800 million people (more than twice the U.S. population) have been lifted out of extreme poverty in China alone.

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