Global poverty has fallen faster during the past 20 years than at any time in history. Around the world hunger, child death, and disease rates have all plummeted. More girls are getting into school. In fact, never before have so many people, in so many poor countries, made so much progress in reducing poverty, increasing incomes, improving health, reducing conflict and war, and spreading democracy.
Some of these gains–especially the declines in poverty and child mortality–rank among the greatest achievements in history. Yet few people are aware that they are even happening.
In 1993 almost 2 billion people around the world lived on the paltry sum of less than $1.90 a day (the World Bank’s definition of “extreme” poverty), or less than $10 a day for a family of five. By best estimates, the number was down to around 700 million in 2015, and falling. More than 60 developing countries around the world have seen a decline in the number of extreme poor, despite continued population growth.
Meanwhile, millions more poor people have access to clean water and basic sanitation facilities. The share of people living in chronic hunger has been cut nearly in half, with better nutrition and lower rates of stunted growth in children.
Prior to 1980 just half of girls in developing countries completed primary school; now 85 percent do. Less than 50 percent of adult females could read and write, but today global female literacy has passed 93 percent. Read more