Poverty Facts - The face of poverty in Bam, Iran.


Poverty Facts

The face of poverty in Bam, Iran.



1.4 billion people in the developing world (one in four, or 25%) live on less than $1.25 a day, and at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day - over 4.8 billion people. 

—-World Bank, 2008, Martin Ravallion, Shaohua Chen and Prem Sangraula, Dollar a Day Revisited

The poorest 40 percent of the world’s population accounts for 5 percent of global income. The richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.

—-2007 Human Development Report (HDR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth accounted for just 1.5%.
The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s seven richest people combined.

—-The World Bank, Key Development Data & Statistics, 2008e

The world’s billionaires — just 497 people (approximately 0.000008% of the world’s population) — were worth $3.5 trillion (over 7% of global GDP).

Low income countries (2.4 billion people) accounted for just $1.6 trillion of global GDP (3.3%).

In other words, about 0.13% of the world’s population controlled 25% of the world’s financial assets in 2004.

—-Eileen Alt Powell, Some 600,000 Join Millionaire Ranks in 2004, Associated Press, June 9, 2005

About 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

Of the total number of children in the world, 2.0 billion, 1 billion live in poverty (1 in 2) and:

  • 640 million live without adequate shelter (1 in 3);
  • 400 million live with no access to safe water (1 in 5);
  • 270 million live with no access to health services (1 in 7);
  • —-State of the World’s Children, 2005, UNICEF