World poverty

Many people claim or believe that poverty its a either an unresolved problem or a growing problem, but statistics show that it has improved substantially.

From HumanProgress: Five Graphs that Will Change Your Mind About Poverty

In 1820, more than 90 per cent of the world population lived on less than $2 a day and more than 80 per cent lived on less than $1 a day (adjusted for inflation and differences in purchasing power). By 2015, less than 10 per cent of people lived on less than $1.90 a day, the World Bank’s current official definition of extreme poverty.

Not only has the percentage of people living in poverty declined, but the number of people in poverty has fallen as well – despite massive population growth. There are also more people alive who are not in penury than there have ever been. From 1820 to 2015, the number of people in extreme poverty fell from over a billion to 700 million, while the number of people better off than that rose from a mere 60 million to 6.6 billion.

Globally, poverty is about a quarter of what it was in 1990. And the graph below from Johan Norberg’s excellent book, Progress: 10 Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, illustrates how the decline of extreme poverty has raised living standards and brought about other tangible improvements. As poverty has lessened, so have child mortality, illiteracy, and even pollution in wealthy countries – all are now less than half of what they were in 1990. Hunger has also become much rarer.

If progress continues on its current trajectory, the Brookings Institution estimated in 2013 that extreme poverty (this time defined as living on $1.25 a day, again adjusted for inflation and differences in purchasing power) will all but vanish by 2030, affecting only 5 per cent of the global population. This is what they considered to be the “baseline” or most likely scenario. In the best-case scenario, they predicted that by 2030 poverty will decrease to a truly negligible level, affecting only 1.4 per cent of the planet’s population.

This is a measure of significant or extreme poverty.

Debate over poverty in New Zealand has risen over the last few years, but i think this is a different degree of poverty – many people are not as well off as they perhaps they should be in a modern society, but even here dire living conditions are uncommon.

And – have the claims of poverty been less prominent since the Labour led Government came to power? I don’t think the situation of the country’s poor people has changed markedly, but the focus seems to have faded away.

However here is still plenty that can and should be done to improve the living conditions and prospects for the poorest people in New Zealand.

24 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  June 24, 2018

    meaningless contrived measures that do not take into account the costs of living and rely on an average distorted by the wealth of the top few percent.

    ‘lies,damned lies and statistics’!

    • Grimm

       /  June 24, 2018

      Except it’s not based on average income.

      Maybe check with Clint next time?

      • Blazer

         /  June 24, 2018

        you tell me what you think its based on?

        • Grimm

           /  June 24, 2018

          “In 1820, more than 90 per cent of the world population lived on less than $2 a day and more than 80 per cent lived on less than $1 a day (adjusted for inflation and differences in purchasing power). By 2015, less than 10 per cent of people lived on less than $1.90 a day, the World Bank’s current official definition of extreme poverty”

          Does it need to be written in crayon for you?

          • Blazer

             /  June 24, 2018

            so $2 U.S in 1820 adjusted for inflation=$1.90 today ,does it?

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 24, 2018

              Touche Blazer! (I’ll say it for him)

              The amount according to online inflation calculator is $39.00 (rounded up) in 2015

            • High Flying Duck

               /  June 25, 2018
            • Blazer

               /  June 25, 2018

              @HFD…article refers to 1820….and now ‘ researchers have been trying to assess the extent of extreme poverty across the world since 1979 and more systematically since the World Development Report 1990, which introduced the dollar-a-day international poverty line.’

            • High Flying Duck

               /  June 25, 2018

              The link I posted is not related to the original post by PG, other than it provides a good explanation of the PPP calculations to keep the results comparable over time.
              I assume it would be possible to extrapolate back from 1979 as well as project forward.

  2. David

     /  June 24, 2018

    Blazer, when was the last time you were in a third world country?

    • Blazer

       /  June 24, 2018

      2016

    • Blazer

       /  June 24, 2018

      this is not credible…’In 1820, more than 90 per cent of the world population lived on less than $2 a day and more than 80 per cent lived on less than $1 a day (adjusted for inflation and differences in purchasing power). By 2015, less than 10 per cent of people lived on less than $1.90 a day, the World Bank’s current official definition of extreme poverty.’

  3. David

     /  June 24, 2018

    “2016”

    This is not credible.

  4. david in aus

     /  June 24, 2018

    “And – have the claims of poverty been less prominent since the Labour-led Government came to power? I don’t think the situation of the country’s poor people has changed markedly, but the focus seems to have faded away.”

    The media is left-wing, do we need any more confirmation?

    • Blazer

       /  June 24, 2018

      a mess exacerbated by 9 years of National neglect left for Labour to…address…nothing new.

    • MaureenW

       /  June 24, 2018

      More garbage – a double banger – the UN and CNN.

    • Grimm

       /  June 24, 2018

      A United Nations report about Trump, reported by CNN. What could go wrong?

  5. PartisanZ

     /  June 24, 2018

    Depends what you call poverty?

    By 2030 when they predict almost no-one will be living on less than US$1.25 per day – meaning the entire world’s population will have been commodified – hopefully ‘poverty’ will have been radically redefined?

    Something beyond a ‘subsistence wage’ of $8.75 for a seven day week …

    By then we might have asked ourselves why we’re measuring the Empire State Building with a 12 inch ruler?

    Or maybe even asking ourselves why we’d ever have defined “poverty” in purely economic terms?

  6. PartisanZ

     /  June 24, 2018

    That’s not trickle down … That’s not even seep down …

    We know there’s been major gush and ooze upwards … so this might be defined as distillation down …?

    A purified form of poverty …?

    Poverty purified of human beings …

    • PartisanZ

       /  June 24, 2018

      It’s like: How many squillions of dollars ‘earned’ by the 1% or even trillions by the 10% need to be distilled to create a drop in the ocean of world poverty?

      • PartisanZ

         /  June 25, 2018

        Drip ………………………………… ??? ……..

        …………………………………………….

  7. Blazer

     /  June 25, 2018

    interessant…..

    Nikki Haley: ‘Ridiculous’ for UN to analyze poverty in America. UN reports 40 million live in poverty in the USA and 40% of Americans don’t have 400 USD in savings