Sustainable Development Goal 1 is to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” and has two specific poverty reduction targets. One target (SDG 1.1) talks of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030, building on a globally comparable notion of extreme poverty. Extreme poverty fell from 37 percent to 13 percent between 1990 and 2012; and based on national growth rates over the past 10 years, the global extreme poverty rate is estimated to be below 10 percent in 2015, a drop of more than two-thirds since 1990.
This post briefly explains how extreme poverty is measured and makes five main points:
- A large number of people have moved out of poverty since 1990, and impressively, even though the world’s population grew by 2 billion, there are over a billion fewer poor people.
- There are many countries with relatively low poverty rates that still have large numbers of the globally extreme poor living there (e.g. China, India).
- At the same time, there are a large number of countries with stubbornly high poverty rates where relatively small numbers of the world’s extremely poor live (e.g Haiti, Uganda).
- Since the SDGs focus on “no one left behind”, when looking at poverty across the world, both rates and numbers matter.
- SDG target 1.2 aims to halve national poverty rates in all its dimensions between 2015 and 2030 – as it’s based on country-specific understanding of poverty (which often differ) it’s relevant for all countries, rich and poor alike.