GOOD NEWS AMID the usual horrific news. As civilians die in Syria and other war zones, new data by the World Bank shows that the number of people living in extreme poverty fell dramatically in the developing world from 2005 to 2008. Some 22%, or 1.3 billion, of the developing world's population lived on $1.25 or less a day in 2008. That's down from 43% in 1990 and 52% in 1981.
"The developing world has made remarkable progress in fighting extreme poverty, and it has proved resilient to recent economic shocks and rising food and oil prices," Martin Ravallion, director of the World Bank's Development Research Group, said in a news release. "But even with the current rate of progress, about one billion people would still live in extreme poverty in 2015."
The economic growth of China and Asia's "Tiger" economies has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of extreme poverty. About 77% of East Asia's population lived on less than $1.25 a day in 1981. The number dropped to 14% in 2008. By contrast, nearly half of Africa's population still lives in extreme poverty.
- World Bank news release, "World Bank Sees Progress Against Extreme Poverty, But Flags Vulnerabilities Resources."