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October 05, 2015

World Bank Charts Decline in Ranks of the Extremely Poor

The World Bank said Sunday that the number of people living in extreme poverty is likely to drop this year to less than 10 percent of the global population for the first time, the Thomson Reuters Foundation reports. The projection came as the international development lender changed its definition of the extreme poverty line to living on $1.90 or less a day, up from $1.25. The bank said the revision reflects new data on variances in the cost of living across countries. The benchmark, introduced in 1990 at $1 day, was last adjusted in 2008.

Under the new measurement, the bank estimates that 702 million people, or 9.6 percent of the world's population, live in severe poverty, down from 902 million (12.8 percent) in 2012. The bank attributed the decline to strong growth in emerging economies and investments in education, health, and safety-net social services. The United Nations has set a target of ending extreme poverty by 2030 as part of its Sustainable Development Goals adopted by 193 countries last month.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on the role of charities and foundations in meeting the U.N.'s development targets.