The number of extremely poor people is dramatically shrinking, even as global population is growing. From 1820, when 94% were in extreme poverty, we are now down to 9.6% as of 2015. That’s worth celebrating. The story is largely mixed by technological, societal, and political changes; but in general, we’ve gone from a world where almost everyone was extremely poor to a world with fewer than 10% in extremely poor conditions – and an expectation that will continue to improve for at least a while. That may seem counter-intuitive to most Americans because poverty (not extreme poverty) has remained nearly constant at about 15% since 1980. Since 1980, China has dropped from over 70% to about 10%, and India has dropped from over 40% to about 20%. Those two countries account for about 1 billion people rising out of extreme poverty. A rise out of extreme poverty, however, does not mean an end to poverty. Poverty continues to threaten billions of lives, but, one thing at a time.
(Click on the graph for the link.)