Monday, October 11, 2010

Global poverty and the new bottom billion: Three-quarters of the World’s poor live in middle-income countries

A new study by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) argues that the global poverty problem has changed because most of the world's poor no longer live in poor countries--meaning low-income countries (LICs).

In the past, poverty has been viewed as an LIC issue predominantly. Nowadays, such simplistic assumptions/classifications can be misleading because a number of the large countries that have graduated into the middle-income country (MIC) category still have large number of poor people. In 1990, we estimate that 93 per cent of the world's poor people lived in LICs. In contrast, in 2007/8 we estimate that three-quarters of the world's (approximately 1.3bn) poor people now live in middle-income countries, and only about a quarter of the world's poor - about 370mn people - live in the remaining 39 low-income countries, which are largely in sub-Saharan Africa.

To learn more about this report, see this Oxfam Blog post. The report can be found here.