Published on Data Blog

Progress toward ending poverty has slowed

The latest poverty estimates show that 9.2% of the global population lived below the $1.90-a-day International Poverty Line in 2017. This amounts to 689 million people living in extreme poverty, 28 million fewer than in 2016 and 52 million fewer than in 2015. Notwithstanding this decrease in the number of poor, the recently published Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020 report paints a sobering picture of progress toward the 2030 goal of reducing global poverty to below 3%.

While the global rate of extreme poverty fell by about 1 percentage point per year between 1990 and 2015, the latest numbers confirm the slowdown in poverty reduction registered between 2013 and 2015. Global poverty decreased by less than half percentage point per year between 2015 and 2017, raising concerns about reaching the 3% target by 2030 without swift, significant, and substantial policy action. Additional global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflict are likely to push this goal even farther away.


Marta Schoch

ET Consultant, Development Data Group, World Bank

Christoph Lakner

Program Manager, Development Data Group, World Bank

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