Despite Recession, Global Poverty Is Declining
World Bank figures show that 2010 absolute poverty levels were half what they were in 1990, suggesting that the UN has met its Millennium Development Goals five years early.
What's the Latest Development?
According to the World Bank's Development Research Group, rates of absolute poverty were halved between 1990 and 2010, despite the recent financial and food-prices crisis. Estimates show that in 2008, "both the number and share of the population living on less than $1.25 a day," fell everywhere in the world for the first time ever. Much of the credit goes to China, which has brought 660 million people out of poverty since 1981. The country's economic growth over these years reduced poverty rates in South East Asia from 77 to 14 percent.
What's the Big Idea?
Advancements have occurred in other parts of the world, too. After a rise in African poverty through the 80s and 90s, by 2008 the poverty rate had fallen to 47 percent. For the first time, less than half of Africa is living in abject poverty. Latin American, eastern Europe and Central Asia have also seen poverty rates drop, a testament to the increased number of social programs. Despite the progress, there is still much work to be done. The number of people making less than $2 fell only slightly, from 2.59 billion in 1981 to 2.44 billion in 2008.
Photo credit: shutterstock.com
Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned mindfulness leader, teaches meditation at Big Think Edge.
- Try meditation for the first time with this guided lesson or, if you already practice, enjoy being guided by a world-renowned meditation expert.
- Sharon Salzberg teaches mindfulness meditation for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
The navigation tool has placed a school in the sea, among other things.
- Google has apologized for the sudden instability of its maps in Japan.
- Errors may stem from Google's long-time map data provider Zenrin – or from the cancellation of its contract.
- Speculation on the latter option caused Zenrin shares to drop 16% last Friday.
Melting ice is turning up bodies on Mt. Everest. This isn't as shocking as you'd think.
- Mt. Everest is the final resting place of about 200 climbers who never made it down.
- Recent glacial melting, caused by climate change, has made many of the bodies previously hidden by ice and snow visible again.
- While many bodies are quite visible and well known, others are renowned for being lost for decades.
A new computer model solves a pair of Jovian riddles.
- Astronomers have wondered how a gas giant like Jupiter could sit in the middle of our solar system's planets.
- Also unexplained has been the pair of asteroid clusters in front of and behind Jupiter in its orbit.
- Putting the two questions together revealed the answer to both.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.