Half A Billion People Escaped Poverty Between 2005 and 2010
Kurzweil summarizes a new Brookings Study:
The Millennium Development Goal to halve the rate of global poverty by 2015 was met sometime in 2007, says the Brooking Institution in a new report, Poverty in Numbers: The Changing State of Global Poverty from 2005 to 2015.
By 2015, we will not only have halved the global poverty rate, but will have halved it again to under 10 percent, or less than 600 million people, with India and China responsible for three-quarters of the reduction in the world’s poor expected between 2005 and 2015.
“While these findings likely come as a surprise to many, they shouldn’t,” says the report. “Growth lies at the heart of poverty reduction. As developing country growth took off in the new millennium, epitomized in the rise of emerging markets, a massive drop in poverty was surely to be expected.
“With few exceptions, however, the international community has been slow to catch on. We hear far more about the 64 million people held back in poverty due to the Great Recession than we do about the hundreds of millions who escaped impoverishment over the last six years. While there is good reason to focus public attention on the critical and ongoing need to support those still stuck below the poverty line, there is also reason to celebrate successes and to ensure policy debates are grounded in reality.”
The two are not unrelated. The rise in South and East Asia, particularly, has come partly at the cost of the West. They’ve lifted themselves out of poverty by out-competing the developed world on the basis of cheap talent.
From the report’s Executive Summary [PDF]:
The Millennium Development Goal to halve the rate of global poverty by 2015 was met sometime in 2007.
- By 2015, we will not only have halved the global poverty rate, but will have halved it again to under 10 percent, or less than 600 million people.
- India and China are responsible for three-quarters of the reduction in the world’s poor expected between 2005 and 2015.
- Between 2005 and 2015, Asia’s share of global poverty is expected to fall from two-thirds to one-third, while Africa’s share more than doubles from 28 to 60 percent.
- Nevertheless, Sub-Saharan Africa’s poverty rate has fallen below 50 percent for the first time. By 2015, its poverty rate is expected to fall below 40 percent—a feat China did not achieve until the mid-90s.
- Whereas only 20 percent of the world’s poor lived in fragile states in 2005, this share is rising sharply and will exceed 50 percent by 2014.
An illustrative table from the full report [PDF]:
This is great, great news for humanity. And the West — including the Bush administration — deserves significant credit for the investment that has helped make it happen.