The Brookings Institution report “Poverty in Numbers: The Changing State of Global Poverty from 2005 to 2015,” updated the World Bank’s official $1.25-a-day figures to reveal how the global poverty landscape has changed with the emergence of developing countries. They estimate that between 2005 and 2010, nearly half a billion people escaped extreme hardship, as the total number of the world’s poor fell to 878 million people. Never before in history have so many people been lifted out of poverty in such a short period. TheĀ U.N. Millennium Development Goals established the target of halving the rate of global poverty between 1990 and 2015; this was probably achieved by 2008, some seven years ahead of schedule. Moreover, using forecasts of per capita consumption growth, we predict that by 2015, fewer than 600 million people will remain poor. At that point, the 1990 poverty rate will have been halved and then halved again.

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