Less poverty in Asia, more in Africa
Currently, 9% of the world population, more than 650 million people, live in extreme poverty. In 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which aims to end poverty around the globe. WU Professor Jesus Crespo Cuaresma and his team are investigating whether this goal can be achieved. Together with the World Data Lab, a Vienna-based NGO for data analysis, Cuaresma has developed a new tool that visualizes country-specific details about poverty dynamics: The World Poverty Clock was introduced today in Berlin at re:publica 17, one of the largest conferences about digital culture in the world.
Under which conditions could poverty be eradicated worldwide by the year 2030? Which countries are on track to significantly reduce their poverty rates in the coming decades? To answer these questions, Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, head of WU’s Institute for Macroeconomics, and his team developed statistical models that combine current demographic trends, global income per capita projections, and long-term income trends for the world economy to forecast global poverty developments. Together with World Data Lab, the researchers designed the World Poverty Clock, a tool for visualizing these projections. This interactive tool visualizes poverty projections for individual countries up until the year 2030.
Poverty going down in India, up in Nigeria
People are considered to be living in extreme poverty if they have to survive on less than $ 1.90 (€ 1.75) per day. The WU researchers’ projections indicate that the extrapolation of current demographic and income trends for the world economy are expected to reduce poverty to around 485 million persons ( 25.4%) by 2030. The projections show considerable differences around the globe: While 77 people are escaping poverty in Asia every minute, on average 12 people are falling into poverty every minute in Africa. By 2030, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are expected to be the countries with the highest numbers of people living in poverty. Nigeria is expected to have 90 million poor people in 2030, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo 64 million. Currently, India is the country with the highest number of poor people in the world. However, India’s current economic growth rates give reason to expect a sharp decline in poverty: As of January, approximately 8.2% of the Indian population, some 110 million people, were considered to live in extreme poverty. This figure is expected to drop to below 10 million by 2025. Now, for the first time, all of these projections and developments can be visualized using the World Poverty Clock. “The World Poverty Clock is a major step ahead for monitoring the development of poverty around the globe. It also makes it easier to estimate the effects of economic policy decisions on global poverty. The projections upon which the World Poverty Clock is based are updated and adapted on a continuous basis,” explains Jesus Crespo Cuaresma. “Without further interventions like those described in the Agenda for Sustainable Development, 485 million people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2030. Our tool shows clearly which countries need to act the most.”
Interactive data visualization
For the World Poverty Clock, economist Crespo Cuaresma and his team at WU and the World Data Lab developed models based on current population projections by age and education level and combined them with the per capita income development statistics of each country. The World Data Lab was responsible for the technical implementation. The tool allows scientists to compute the speed of poverty reduction in each country and compare it with the average speed needed to meet sustainable development goals. The World Poverty Clock also offers comprehensive additional information about the individual countries monitored. The project, which was presented today at re:publica 2017, one of the largest conferences about digital culture in the world, was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Mag. Anna Maria Schwendinger
Tel: + 43-1-31336-5478
Back to overview