There has been marked progress in reducing poverty over the past decades. According to the most recent estimates, in 2012, 12.7 percent of the world’s population lived at or below $1.90 a day. That’s down from 37 percent in 1990 and 44 percent in 1981. And, the number of people living in extreme poverty around the world is projected to fall to under 10 percent of the global population, for the first time, in 2015. This means that ending extreme poverty is within our reach.
To better understand whether the world is on track to end extreme poverty, and how individual countries are faring, we must regularly measure progress.
In coming years, the collection and analysis of reliable and comparable poverty data will take on added importance as poverty levels are watched more closely by everyone with a stake in development.
Good news is, we are building on the work we already do or have completed. Poverty measurement and analysis has been a key aspect of the Bank’s mission for years, as is our work to share knowledge and methods for how to measure poverty more accurately and more frequently.
By measuring poverty we learn which poverty reduction strategies work, and which ones do not. Poverty measurement also helps developing countries gauge program effectiveness and guide their development strategy in a rapidly changing economic environment.