Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thirty-three percent of world’s poorest live in India

India has 33 percent of the world’s poorest 1.2 billion people, even though the country’s poverty rate is half as high as it was three decades ago, according to a new World Bank report.

India reduced the number of its poor from 429 million in 1981 to 400 million in 2010, and the extreme poverty rate dropped from 60 percent of the population to 33 percent during the same period. Despite the good news, India accounts for a higher proportion of the world’s poor than it used to. In 1981, it was home to 22 percent of the world’s poorest people.

The World Bank report comes just days after it proposed a $12 billion to $20 billion plan to reduce poverty levels over four years in the Indian states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Sixty percent of the financing would go to state government-backed projects, according to the Hindu Business Line newspaper.

 The study that came out today showed a similar decline in the number of people living in poverty in recent years. People living below $1.25 (67 rupees) a day fell considerably from more than half the people in the developing world in 1981 to 21 percent in 2010, despite a 59 percent increase in world population during the same period.

Still, there are 1.2 billion people living in extreme deprivation, and the World Bank urged the international community to increase efforts to stop this within the next two decades.

China was the most successful country in helping improve its people’s economic condition. Its poverty rate fell to 12 percent of the population in 2010 from 84 percent in 1981.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where the number of poor has risen steadily, despite a decrease in poverty rate from 51 percent in 1981 to 48 percent in 2010, according to the report titled “The State of the Poor: Where are the Poor and Where are the Poorest?”
 (Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily of Reuters)
By David Lalmalsawma
Source: Reuters
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