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China leads the way in eradicating extreme world poverty


About half of the total decline in the world’s extreme poverty is due in large part to China’s efforts, said New York Times economic policy reporter Annie Lowrey on Wednesday.

The World Bank defines extreme poverty as people living on less than $1.25 each day. The World Bank’s goal to end poverty by 2030 is attainable because of existing health trends that will be extended and nations consistently handling health crises, said Lowrey, whose article about the end of global poverty will appear in this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. Between 1981 and 2010, 680 million people moved out of extreme poverty in China.

The first Millennium Development Goal proposed by the United Nations in 2000 aimed to cut extreme poverty by 2015, which was met five years early because large countries like China and India have lifted millions of people out of poverty each year. The World Bank report from last year showed a broad reduction in extreme poverty and indicated that the global recession did not increase poverty in the developing world. For the first time since the World Bank started keeping statistics in 1981, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty fell in every developing region from 2005 to 2008.

Even Sub-Saharan Africa, where extreme poverty has been hard to eradicate because of the AIDS crisis, appears to be eliminating poverty because of a “brute force of growth,” said Lowrey on Morning Joe. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty in that area of the world increased through the 1990s before declining in the 2000s, according to a 2012 Times article.

Even with progress, 2.4 billion people worldwide live on less than $2 each day, which is the average poverty line in developing countries and another common measurement of deep deprivation, according to the World Bank. While poverty has declined rapidly over the past three years, the world continues to face complex challenges, including economic shocks, food shortages, and climate change. These threats could undermine the progress made in recent years.

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