This is as a direct result of both the industrial and information revolutions hitting the developing world within a couple decades.It is also the result of markets being liberated.
Where markets can function wealth is created. Where prices are honest or close to honest wealth can be created. We have made great progress toward unleashing markets. As such we’ve made great strides in eradicating extreme poverty.
Where bureaucrats and politicians continue to dominate however, poverty usually reigns. This is as true for India as it is for Baltimore.
The speed of poverty alleviation in the last 25 years has been historically unprecedented. Not only is the proportion of people in poverty at a record low, but, in spite of adding 2 billion to the planet’s population, the overall number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen too.
If it takes you five minutes to read this, another 480 people will have escaped the shackles of extreme of poverty by the time you finish.
As Johan Norberg writes in his book Progress, “If you had to choose a society to live in but did not know what your social or economic position would be, you would probably choose the society with the lowest proportion (not the lowest numbers) of poor, because this is the best judgement of the life of an average citizen.” Well, in 1820, 94 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 per day adjusted for purchasing power). In 1990 this figure was 34.8 percent, and in 2015, just 9.6 percent.
In the last quarter century, more than 1.25 billion people escaped extreme poverty – that equates to over 138,000 people (i.e., 38,000 more than the Parisian crowd that greeted Father Wresinski in 1987) being lifted out of poverty every day. If it takes you five minutes to read this article, another 480 people will have escaped the shackles of extreme of poverty by the time you finish. Progress is awesome. In 1820, only 60 million people didn’t live in extreme poverty. In 2015, 6.6 billion did not.