Poverty Facts and Stats
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Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.Source 7
Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.Source 8
51 percent of the world’s 100 hundred wealthiest bodies are corporations.Source 23
The wealthiest nation on Earth has the widest gap between rich and poor of any industrialized nation.Source 24
The poorer the country, the more likely it is that debt repayments are being extracted directly from people who neither contracted the loans nor received any of the money.Source 25
In 1960, the 20% of the world’s people in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20% — in 1997, 74 times as much.Source 26
An analysis of long-term trends shows the distance between the richest and poorest countries was about:
- 3 to 1 in 1820
- 11 to 1 in 1913
- 35 to 1 in 1950
- 44 to 1 in 1973
- 72 to 1 in 1992Source 27
“Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are still chronically undernourished, almost two-thirds of whom reside in Asia and the Pacific.”Source 28
For economic growth and almost all of the other indicators, the last 20 years [of the current form of globalization, from 1980 - 2000] have shown a very clear decline in progress as compared with the previous two decades [1960 - 1980]. For each indicator, countries were divided into five roughly equal groups, according to what level the countries had achieved by the start of the period (1960 or 1980). Among the findings:
- Growth: The fall in economic growth rates was most pronounced and across the board for all groups or countries.
- Life Expectancy: Progress in life expectancy was also reduced for 4 out of the 5 groups of countries, with the exception of the highest group (life expectancy 69-76 years).
- Infant and Child Mortality: Progress in reducing infant mortality was also considerably slower during the period of globalization (1980-1998) than over the previous two decades.
- Education and literacy: Progress in education also slowed during the period of globalization.Source 29
A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.Source 30
Notes and Sources
This figure is based on purchasing power parity (PPP), which basically suggests that prices of goods in countries tend to equate under floating exchange rates and therefore people would be able to purchase the same quantity of goods in any country for a given sum of money. That is, the notion that a dollar should buy the same amount in all countries. Hence if a poor person in a poor country living on a dollar a day moved to the U.S. with no changes to their income, they would still be living on a dollar a day.
- See Today, over 25,000 children died around the world from this web site. (Note that the statistic cited uses children as those under the age of five. If it was say 6, or 7, the numbers would be even higher.)
- The State of the World’s Children, 1999, UNICEF
- State of the World, Issue 287 - Feb 1997, New Internationalist
- 2006 United Nations Human Development Report, pp.6, 7, 35
- See the following:
- Holding Transnationals Accountable, IPS, August 11, 1998
- Top 200: The Rise of Corporate Global Power, by Sarah Anderson and John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies, November 2000
- Log cabin to White House? Not any more, The Observer, April 28, 2002
- Debt - The facts, Issue 312 - May 1999, New Internationalist
- 1999 Human Development Report, United Nations Development Programme
- World Resources Institute Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems, February 2001, (in the Food Feed and Fiber section). Note, that despite the food production rate being better than population growth rate, there is still so much hunger around the world.
- The Scorecard on Globalization 1980-2000: Twenty Years of Diminished Progress, by Mark Weisbrot, Dean Baker, Egor Kraev and Judy Chen, Center for Economic Policy and Research, August 2001.
- Maude Barlow, Water as Commodity - The Wrong Prescription, The Institute for Food and Development Policy, Backgrounder, Summer 2001, Vol. 7, No. 3