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The share of the world in extreme poverty is shrinking

The share of the world living in extreme poverty continues to shrink, but at a much slower rate, according to a new report by the World Bank.

Data: World Bank; Note: South Asia's latest value is from 2013; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The big picture: Only 10% of the world's population in 2015 lived on less than $1.90 a day, down from 11% in 2013. The World Bank predicts that share will be just 8.6% in 2018.

  • The good news: "About half of the world’s countries now have poverty rates below 3 percent," according to the report.
  • The bad news. The rate of decline has slowed globally, largely due to areas with high concentration of poverty such as in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is expected to still have a double-digit share of the population in extreme poverty by 2030.
  • In the Middle East and North Africa, the share of those in extreme poverty has risen above 3% over the past couple of years due to the conflict and violence in Syria and Yemen.
  • Because of areas with extremely high rates of poverty, the goal of having less than 3% of the world live in extreme poverty within the next 12 years might be unattainable.
“[I]f we are going to end poverty by 2030, we need much more investment, particularly in building human capital, to help promote the inclusive growth it will take to reach the remaining poor.”
— World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement
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