Half The World's Poor Live In Just Five Countries

In 2015 there was a record 736 million people classed as 'extreme poor' and 368 million, or half of the total, lived in just five countries.

Considering there are 195 counties in the world for half the world's poor to live in five of them is staggering.

All five countries are either in South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa - India has the highest number with 24 percent followed by Nigeria (12 percent) Democratic Republic of Congo (seven percent), Ethiopia (four percent), and Bangladesh (three percent).

These countries are the most populated of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa - the two regions that together account for 85 percent (629 million) of the world's poor.

Extreme poverty is described by people who live on less than £1.50 ($1.90) a day.

Extreme Poverty. Credit: PA
Extreme Poverty. Credit: PA

The World Bank would like to reduce the number of people living in extreme poverty to less than three percent by 2030 and large reductions in the five poorest countries is crucial in the plan.

In the 25 years between 1990 and 2015 the extreme poverty rate dropped an average of a percentage point per year - from nearly 36 percent to 10 percent.

Although, this initially seems like tremendous progress, between 2013 and 2015 it slowed down and only dropped by one percent in this time.

And despite the progress in the past, extreme poverty rates remain stubbornly high in low-income countries and those affected by conflict and political upheaval.

In fact, in Sub-Saharan African countries the number of poor people is increasing.

Extreme Poverty. Credit: PA
Extreme Poverty. Credit: PA

As the world grows in wealth - just look at companies hitting the trillion-dollar mark - extreme poverty is concentrated but World Bank asks the question whether £1.50 ($1.90) is too low to define this term.

The World Bank now reports on two higher-value poverty lines: £2.50 ($3.20) and £4.30 ($5.50) per day.

On their website they say: "These lines, which are typical of standards among lower- and upper-middle-income countries, respectively, are designed to complement, not replace, the $1.90 international poverty line.

"Data suggest that the rapid gains against extreme poverty have not been matched by reductions in the number of people living below these higher levels of income."

In 2015, over a quarter of the world's population survived on $3.20 per day and nearly half of the world still lived on less than $5.50 per day.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Rachael Grealish

Rachael is a NCTJ qualified journalist from West Cumbria, with a passion for news, features and journalism. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.

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