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In 2017, an estimated 9.2 percent of the global population still lived below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day, which is based on poverty lines in  some of the poorest economies in the world. This amounts to 689 million extreme poor, 52 million fewer than in 2015.

Now, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has reversed the gains in global poverty for the first time in a generation. About 120 million additional people are living in poverty as a result of the pandemic, with the total expected to rise to about 150 million by the end of 2021.

To better understand whether the world is on track to end extreme poverty, and how individual countries are faring, we must regularly measure progress. Poverty measurement and analysis has been a key aspect of the World 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 do not. Poverty measurement also helps developing countries gauge program effectiveness and guide their development strategy in a rapidly changing economic environment.

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2021