Michael Omidi discusses PEW research that shows a decline in poverty over the past decade.
From 2001 to 2011, nearly 700 million people stepped out from poverty, though many still were barely scraping by. This rise always came with an increase in the global middle class. All of this is from recent PEW research.
According to the research, those considered poor are people living on $2.00 or less a day. The global population in 2001 living in poverty was 29%. That declined to 15% in 2011. While those considered low income, living on $2 to $10 a day, increased from 50% to 56%.
The middle class was classified as people living on $10 to $20 a day, which was 5 times the poverty line used in the study. This of course is within the poverty line of the US, which is living on $15.77 a day for a 4 person household. Researchers feel the $10 threshold globally begins to insulate those from falling back into poverty, based on findings in Latin America. Where in Mexico, Chile and Peru people only have a 10% likeliness of falling into poverty if their per capita incomes is $10.00 a day.
China's growth stood out remarkably. The middle income grew from 3% in 2001 to 15% in 2011. A total of 203 million people passed to the middle income level of $10 a day in that time. China, which accounts for 20% of the world's population, accounted for one-in-two additions to the global middle income population. Far superior than most other countries in Asian and throughout the world. The greater population of Asia combined accounted for the largest growth of middle income compared to other continents.
Only 16% of the world's population lived at the high level of the income scale. Up only 2% from 2001. These were largely people from advanced economies. In the US, median daily income per capita was $56 dollars a day. A total of 88% of the American population lived off of more than $20 a day.
It shows that some progress is being made worldwide. The UN recently announced an initiative to try to eradicate global poverty over the next 15 years. If they are able to accomplish that, it will be a huge success for humanity. The more we are able to create a dialogue on poverty and brain storm solutions, the quicker we can reduce the affects and create a more sustainable future for humanity as a whole.
Yours in health,
Michael Omidi is the co-founder of No More Poverty a nonprofit that advocates of the elimination of poverty throughout the world.