South Asia has experienced a long period of robust economic growth and it has been among the fastest-growing in the world. Growth is projected to steadily increase from 7 percent in 2015 to 7.6 percent by 2017 through maintaining strong consumption and increasing investment.
This strong growth has translated into declining poverty and impressive improvements in human development. But poverty in the region remains high. About 399 million people—40 percent of the world’s poor—live on less than $1.25 a day. More than 200 million people live in slums, and half a billion people go without electricity. Many countries in the region suffer from extreme forms of social exclusion and huge infrastructure gaps, and the larger countries are experiencing increases in inequality. Development in the region will be key to meeting global poverty and prosperity goals.
South Asia will play an important role in the global development story as it takes its place in the Asian Century. It has the world’s largest working-age population, a quarter of the world’s middle-class consumers, the largest number of poor and undernourished in the world, and several fragile states of global geopolitical importance. With inclusive growth, South Asia has the potential to change global poverty.
Last Updated: May 29, 2015