SD Features
Poverty and SD
Poverty in Numbers

1.3 billion people (over a fifth of the world's population) live below the international poverty line of $1/day and a further 1.6 billion (another quarter of the world's population) survive on between one and two dollars In the latter half of the 1990s, one third of the world's willing to work population was either unemployed or underemployed, the worse situation since the 1930s.

In 1960 the combined incomes of the richest fifth of the world's population were 30 times greater than the poorest fifth. By 1991 it was over 60 times and in 1998, 78 times as high.

In 1997, the under 5 mortality rate in industrialised countries was 8/1000 live births. In 1997, the under 5 mortality rate in developing countries was 169/1000 live births In 1993 there were 244 doctors per 100,000 people in the first world In 1993 there were 13 doctors per 100,000 people in the third world In 1997, 41% of the total Third World population had no access to safe water.

In 1997, 57% of the people living in the Third World had no access to sanitation In 1997, 40% of all Third World children under the age of 5 were underweight or starving.

In 1996 the average daily intake of calories in the Third World was 2090 cal, unchanged since 1970. About 840 million people worldwide are now malnourished.

One in seven children of primary school age is out of school globally.

In 1997, external debt payments made-up 92.3% of the GDP of countries of low development

Source: United Nations Development Programme,

 Return to  Sustainable Development
Return to the Poverty Pages
Contact: Hari Srinivas -