The number of extremely poor people continues to rise in Sub-Saharan Africa


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Globally, extreme poverty has rapidly declined. New poverty estimates by the World Bank suggest that the number of extremely poor people—those who live on $1.90 a day or less—has fallen from 1.9 billion in 1990 to about 736 million in 2015.

However, the number of people living in extreme poverty is on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa, comprising more than half of the extreme poor in 2015. Forecasts also indicate that by 2030, nearly 9 in 10 extremely poor people will live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Find more information and the latest poverty estimates at World Bank PovcalNet and Poverty & Equity Data portal.


Join the Conversation

Helena Nordenstedt
September 21, 2018

Thank you for this blog post and the very user friendly visualization!
However, I find the title to be misleading. The number of extreme poor is not on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has been increasing, but is actually peaking now 2018-2019 with 437 million people, and then slowly decline again to reach 416 million in 2030.
What I think should be highlighted (and also is highlighted) is that the total number is still falling (from 736 million to around 500 million, while we still have a population increase ongoing thus making the percentage fall even more), and that almost everyone living in extreme poverty in 2030 will be living in Sub-Saharan Africa.

debola Ogunduyi
October 02, 2018

Please send me this report on The number of extremely poor people continues to rise in Sub-Saharan Africa

Frank Ngalande
October 04, 2018

Very insightful abstract. I would appreciate receipt of the full report so as to understand the drivers of the extreme poverty in Sub Saharan. Perhaps getting to know the drivers can help countries in SSA begin to work on poverty eradication policies (or improve existing policies) that can mitigate the extreme poverty projections.

October 07, 2018


Abdulrahman Ameen
October 13, 2018

Yes, agreed strongly that the poverty is on the high side in sub Sahara Africa most especially in Nigeria

Justice M. Mbuh
October 14, 2018

I agree that Poverty would continue to be on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa, even in the face of UN Program on Road to Dignity, 2030 intended to eradicate poverty. Two important reasons, to me, are bad governance and failure of financial institutions which are supposed to alleviate that poverty but instead exacerbate it by being too elitist! Please, kindly send me this article which would likely help me add more flesh to my article on this and other issues. Thanks.

Atebia Kokeb K Gebrewold
October 17, 2018

Thank you for your reply and for clarifying the issues from your report on " The number of extremely poor people continues to rise in Sub-Saharan Africa, while falling rapidly in all other regions" . I think I now understand where the confusion came from in that the total number of poor people is falling even with population increase. But despite the decline in poverty in Sub- Saharan Africa to reach 416 million by 2030, everyone living in extreme poverty in 2030 will be living in sub-Saharan Africa. If I get this right , I have one question to ask? Why are people attracted to live in sub-Saharan Africa during this difficult period of their lives? Is is because standard of living in sub -Saharan Africa is still cheap in comparison to living in other countries and one can survive with $1.90 a day where as it is unthinkable to even try elsewhere. Would family networks serve as safety nets for these extremely poor population . Would the weather be another attraction for the extreme poor ? I hope there will be a study to be conducted to answer these questions and shared to in this forum . Thank you for sharing your knowledge to improve people's lives.

Tatenda Magamba
September 10, 2019


Olorunfemi Adeyinka
September 10, 2019

I must confess that world Bank project has been doing a great job in the area of poverty reduction, maternal and child care, reduction on maternal and child mortality, urban development, good road network, quality education etc.

This is evident in the millennium development Goals.
This was recently improved upon by the latest sustainable development goals.

However the mentality of our people in Nigeria has to change towards projects of this magnitude.

It shouldn't be all business as usual. We need to be less griddy and put the interest of the poor masses in our hearts.
While the rich people at the top were getting richer and busy embezzling money at the expense of the poor who can hardly afford a meal or send their children to school.

We need to change our orientation. I mean the people at the helm of affairs.
It is this Nigeria mentality that hardly make such projects sustainable.
We need a new orientation, a new mind set and be less selfish.