Urbanization Brings Eradication of Extreme Poverty in Sight

The elimination of extreme poverty - daily income below $1.25 - has long been a goal of the U.N., the World Bank, and development experts. The world's mass urbanization is a leading reason that quixotic goal may actually be achievable by 2030.
May 2, 2013, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"The first Millennium Development Goal — to halve the proportion of the world population living in dire poverty by 2015 — was met five years early, as the rate fell to an estimated 21 percent in 2010, from 43 percent in 1990," writes Annie Lowrey. "Some economists had feared that the recession would arrest or even reverse the trend, given how interconnected the global economy is, but the improvement continued, unabated."

"For much of the improvement, the world can thank one country: China, which alone accounts for about half of the decline in the extreme poverty rate worldwide. It has also driven significant gains across the region. In the early 1980s, East Asia had the highest extreme-poverty rate in the world, with more than three in four people living on less than $1.25 a day. By 2010, just one in eight were. But other middle-income countries, like Brazil, Nigeria and India, have experienced significant growth, too — in no small part because tens of millions of the very poor have moved from rural areas to cities, where they become richer, healthier and more productive for their economies."


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Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 in The New York Times
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