Is the Decline in Extreme Poverty the Greatest Achievement of the Past 50 Years?
"For thousands of generations, a vast majority of humans have lived brief, illiterate lives marked by disease, disability and the loss of children," writes Nicholas D. Kristof. "As recently as 1980, a slight majority of people in the developing world lived in extreme poverty, defined as surviving on less than $1.25 in today’s money."
"Yet in a time of depressing news worldwide, about dysfunction and crisis from Syria to our own Congress, here’s one area of spectacular progress," he asserts. "The share of people in the developing world who live in extreme poverty has been reduced from 1 in 2 in 1980 to 1 in 5 today, according to the World Bank. Now the aim is to reduce that to almost zero by 2030."