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Global Poverty Level Around The World

Our goal is to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. This mission underpins all of our analytical, operational, and convening work in more than 145 client countries. For almost 25 years, extreme poverty — the first of the world’s Sustainable Development Goals – was steadily declining.

Now, for the first time in a generation, the quest to end poverty has suffered its worst setback.

Global extreme poverty is expected to rise in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years as the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic compounds the forces of conflict and climate change, which were already slowing poverty reduction progress.


The global extreme poverty rate fell to 9.2 percent in 2017, from 10.1 percent in 2015. That is equivalent to 689 million people living on less than $1.90 a day. At higher poverty lines, 24.1 percent of the world lived on less than $3.20 a day and 43.6 percent on less than $5.50 a day in 2017.

In 2018, four out of five people below the international poverty line lived in rural areas.



But many people who had barely escaped extreme poverty could be forced back into it by the convergence of COVID-19, conflict, and climate change. A “nowcast” (preliminary estimate) for 2020, incorporating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, projects that an additional 88 million to 115 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty, bringing the total to between 703 and 729 million.

“The new poor” probably will:



Middle-income countries such as India and Nigeria will be significantly affected; middle-income countries may be home to 82% of the new poor.


New research estimates that climate change will drive 68 million to 132 million into poverty by 2030. Climate change is a particularly acute threat for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia — the regions where most of the global poor are concentrated. In a number of countries, a large share of the poor live in areas that are both affected by conflict and facing high exposure to floods – for example, Nepal, Cameroon, Liberia, and the Central African Republic.


The newest and most immediate threat to poverty reduction, COVID-19, has unleashed a worldwide economic disaster whose shock waves continue to spread. Without an adequate global response, the cumulative effects of the pandemic and its economic fallout, armed conflict, and climate change will exact high human and economic costs well into the future.


The latest research suggests that the effects of the current crisis will almost certainly be felt in most countries through 2030. Under these conditions, the goal of bringing the global absolute poverty rate to less than 3 percent by 2030, which was already at risk before the crisis, is now beyond reach without swift, significant, and substantial policy action.


History shows that urgent and collective action can help us tackle this crisis.


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