Published on Data Blog

Where the extreme poor live

The latest poverty estimates suggest a deceleration in global poverty reduction for 2017, confirming the trend in the last few years. One of the reasons behind this trend is Sub-Saharan Africa’s slower pace of poverty reduction compared with other regions. One of the key messages of the recently published Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020 report is that extreme poverty will be a predominantly African phenomenon in the coming decade.

Although the number of poor people has fallen in many regions, most notably East Asia and Pacific, and more recently South Asia, there has been no reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the regional poverty rate remains above 40% in 2017.  In fact, the number of people living in extreme poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa increased from 416 million in 2015 to 431 million in 2017, despite a small reduction in the poverty rate in the region.  This increase in the number of extreme poor in the region results in Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 63% of the global poor population. The Middle East and North Africa has also seen an increase in the number of poor in recent years, driven largely by the economies in the region that are affected by conflict.


Marta Schoch

ET Consultant, Development Data Group, World Bank

Christoph Lakner

Program Manager, Development Data Group, World Bank

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