Despite the recent recession in the West, absolute poverty is continuing to retreat in fast-growing developing countries. The escape from poverty that was once limited to the industrialized countries of the West is also happening in “the rest.”
Unfortunately, many people remain unaware of the dramatic decline in global poverty, let alone the reasons for it.
According to an announcement released this week by the World Bank, “less than 10% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty by the end of 2015.”
The bank has “used a new income figure of $1.90 per day to define extreme poverty, up from $1.25. It forecasts that the proportion of the world’s population in this category will fall from 12.8% in 2012 to 9.6%.”

True, come the New Year, some 700 million human beings will still live in absolute poverty.
But let us put this in proper context. Grinding poverty was the norm for most ordinary people throughout human history. As recently as 1980, the World Bank estimated that 50% of the global population lived in absolute poverty.