Mekoviade village, Togo. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for half of the global poor.
Photo: © David Stanley (Flickr)

World Bank forecast: Global poverty to fall below 10 per cent

The World Bank forecasts global poverty to fall below 10 per cent in 2015. The Bank uses an updated international poverty line of USD 1.90 for its projections.

The number of people living in extreme poverty around the world is likely to fall to under 10 percent of the global population in 2015, according to World Bank projections released in October 2015.
The Bank uses an updated international poverty line of USD 1.90 a day, which incorporates new information on differences in the cost of living across countries. The new line preserves the real purchasing power of the previous line (of USD 1.25 a day in 2005 prices) in the world’s poorest countries. Using this new line (as well as new country-level data on living standards), the World Bank projects that this year, global poverty will have fallen from 902 million people or 12.8 per cent of the global population in 2012 to 702 million people, or 9.6 per cent of the global population.

Poverty remains concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

For the last several decades, three regions, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, have accounted for some 95 percent of global poverty. Yet, the composition of poverty across these three regions has shifted dramatically. In 1990, East Asia accounted for half of the global poor, whereas some 15 percent lived in Sub-Saharan Africa; by 2015 forecasts, this is almost exactly reversed: Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for half of the global poor, with some 12 percent living in East Asia. Poverty is declining in all regions but it is becoming deeper and more entrenched in countries that are either conflict ridden or overly dependent on commodity exports.

These are the regional forecasts for 2015 from the World Bank:

  • East Asia and the Pacific: Poverty would fall to 4.1 per cent of its population, down from 7.2 per cent in 2012;
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Poverty would fall to 5.6 per cent from 6.2 in 2012;
  • South Asia: Poverty would fall to 13.5 per cent in 2015, compared to 18.8 per cent in 2012;
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Poverty declines to 35.2 per cent in 2015, compared to 42.6 per cent in 2012.
  • Middle East and North Africa: Reliable current poverty data is not available the because of conflict and fragility in key countries in the region.


More Information: 

World Bank Website on the Global Poverty Line Update 

The new 2015 global and regional poverty forecasts

(The World Bank/ile)