Income Poverty Still Falling, but More Slowly

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The share of people living in extreme poverty--on less than $1.25 a day--is expected to fall slightly this year, declining from 21.3 percent in 2008 to 20.7 in 2009, according to the latest Vital Signs Update. Despite these gains, the economic crisis is slowing recent progress in reducing the number of people around the world living in extreme poverty.

According to the latest Vital Signs poverty update:

  • The global recession will cause anywhere from 55 million to 90 million more people to remain in poverty in 2009 than would otherwise have been the case.
  • The number of chronically hungry people is expected to top 1 billion in 2009, up from 850 million in 2007.
  • By one estimate, agricultural productivity losses associated with climate change could increase the number of people suffering from malnutrition by 600 million by 2080.

This new poverty update includes the latest figures on the share of the world population living in extreme poverty and a 2008-2009 poverty outlook by region.

Read the Vital Signs analysis, "Income Poverty Still Falling, but More Slowly" by Hilary French.