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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—a threshold based on the average of the national poverty lines of 15 of the poorest countries. This amounts to 689 million extreme poor, 52 million fewer than in 2015.

The COVID-19 pandemic reversed progress in global poverty reduction for the first time in a generation in 2020. Its lingering effects, combined with rising inflation and the effects of the war in Ukraine, will lead between 75 million and 95 million additional people to live in extreme poverty in 2022 compared to pre-COVID-19 projections.

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 26, 2022