Ending Extreme Poverty and Promoting Shared Prosperity

April 19, 2013


The World Bank has set two ambitious goals to push extreme poverty to no more 3 percent by 2030, and to promote shared prosperity and greater equity in the developing world.

Amitava Chandra/World Bank

  • More than 1 billion people still live in destitution. At the same time, inequality is rising in many developing nations.
  • The World Bank wants to galvanize international and national support around two goals: to virtually end extreme poverty in a generation and to push for greater equity.
  • A new Shared Prosperity Indicator will be used to measure income growth of the bottom 40 percent in each country.

While poverty has declined rapidly over the past three decades, humanity continues to face urgent and complex challenges.

More than 1 billion people still live in deep poverty, a state of affairs that is morally unacceptable given the resources and technology we have available today. At the same time, rising inequality and social exclusion seems to accompany rising prosperity in many countries.

Under these circumstances, the World Bank's overarching mission of a world free of poverty is as relevant today as it has ever been.

So the Bank has established ambitious, but achievable goals to galvanize international and national efforts to end extreme poverty globally within a generation and to promote "shared prosperity," a sustainable increase in the well-being of the poorer segments of society.

This second goal reflects the fact that all countries aspire to a better living standard for all of their citizens, not only for the already-privileged.

To end extreme poverty, the Bank's goal is to decrease the percentage of people living with less than $1.90 a day to no more than 3 percent by 2030.

To promote shared prosperity, the goal is to promote income growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population in each country.