Facts and Figures

1 August 2008

• New purchasing parity data shows that 26 percent of the population in developing countries lived below the poverty line of US$1.25 a day in 2005, down from 52 percent of in 1981. However, due to popu-lation growth, the actual number of poor people had decreased by only 500 million.

• China was the notable exception: 207 million people lived under the poverty line in 2005, compared to 835 million in 1981. In the developing world outside China, the US$1.25 poverty rate had fallen from 40 percent to 29 percent, but the number of poor still stood at about 1.2 billion in 2005.

• In South Asia, the poverty rate decreased from 60 to 40 percent, but the total number of poor people in 2005 remained unchanged at about 600 million.

• In Sub-Saharan Africa, the share of people living on less than US$1.25 a day was un-changed at 50 percent, but their number had almost doubled, from 200 million in 1981 to about 380 million in 2005.

• In middle-income countries, 2.6 billion people lived on less than US$2 a day in 2005, although the poverty rate had fallen.

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