Brookings: Extreme Poverty Today Is Largely About Africa
June 28, 2018, 10:00 AM
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Graph above: Millions of individuals in extreme poverty in India (green), Congo (red), and Nigeria (blue), time period from 2016-2022 (note: these events mostly have not gone through the formality of taking place yet).

From the Brookings Institution:

The start of a new poverty narrative

Homi Kharas, Kristofer Hamel, and Martin HoferTuesday, June 19, 2018


According to our projections, Nigeria has already overtaken India as the country with the largest number of extreme poor in early 2018, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo could soon take over the number 2 spot (Figure 1 below). At the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million. What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall. In fact, by the end of 2018 in Africa as a whole, there will probably be about 3.2 million more people living in extreme poverty than there are today.

Already, Africans account for about two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor. If current trends persist, they will account for nine-tenths by 2030. Fourteen out of 18 countries in the world—where the number of extreme poor is rising—are in Africa.

So there is good news and bad news when it comes to the prevalence of extreme Mother Teresa-level poverty. It’s disappearing in much of the world, fortunately, but not in Africa. It’s not so much that Sub-Saharan Africa is getting poorer as its getting bigger.

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