Tuesday, May 22, 2007

World Bank study reveals mixed progress on poverty reduction

The World Bank's Private Sector Development Blog has a short commentary about a recent study by the Bank. The study shows that the percentage of people living in poverty decreased over the past 25 years; however, the total number of people living in poverty did not decrease signifigantly, except in the People's Republic of China. The authors also suggest that much of China's poverty reduction is due to agrarian reforms by the Chinese Communist Party since 1970.

From the study's abstract:

We report new estimates of measures of absolute poverty for the developing world over 1981-2004. A clear trend decline in the percentage of people who are absolutely poor is evident, although with uneven progress across regions. We find more mixed success in reducing the total number of poor. Indeed, the developing world outside China has seen little or no sustained progress in reducing the number of poor, with rising poverty counts in some regions, notably Sub-Saharan Africa. There are encouraging signs of progress in reducing the incidence of poverty in all regions after 2000, although it is too early to say if this is a new trend.

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