SD Features
Poverty and SD
Poverty in Numbers
1990s
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.


SDG Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

2020s
Since 1990, more than 1.2 billion people have risen out of extreme poverty. In 2020, 9.2% of the world survived on less than $1.90 a day, compared to nearly 36% in 1990.

The number of children under the age of 5 dying mostly from preventable causes such as poverty, hunger, and disease is less than half of what it was in the 1990s, dropping from about 34,200 a day to over 14,200 in 2020.

The COVID Pandemic: Global extreme poverty rose in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years as the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic compounded the forces of conflict and climate change, which were already slowing poverty reduction progress. About 100 million additional people are living in poverty as a result of the pandemic.

Estimates show that climate change will drive 68 million to 132 million into poverty by 2030. Climate change is a particularly acute threat for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia the regions where most of the global poor are concentrated

The goal of bringing the global absolute poverty rate to less than 3 percent by 2030, which was already at risk before the crisis, is now beyond reach without swift, significant, and substantial policy action.

Source: United Nations Development Programme, World Bank, IMF and other sources

 Return to  Sustainable Development
Return to the Poverty Pages
Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org