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Behind the Numbers: Towards an end to extreme poverty?

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Translation by:

Joseph Pearson

SocietyBehind the Numbers

Don't worry folks; it's still possible to find a shred of good news in 2016. Even if you have to search pretty damn hard to uncover it.

You feel it too, eh? Between BrexitDonald TrumpTurkey, the attacks in Nice and the scorching weather, moments of ecstasy seem few and far between. No wonder you don't feel like getting off the sofa. Sure, there's Pokémon Go, but all you have to do is glance at your old iPhone 3GS to see that even technology is out to get you.

What's left to be happy about? Good news is still out there, you just have to dig a little to find it. That's the basic premise of this article from the American site Quartz. In the miserable narrative of the global economy, we nevertheless see that the number of people living in extreme poverty – who survive on less than 1.90 dollars a day – has literally plummeted over the course of half a century. Looking at the data, the good news is that since 1970, more than 1.5 billion people have climbed out of such conditions. Today, extreme poverty "only" affects 710 million human beings, roughly 9.6% of the global population.

According to statistics from the World BankChina deserves much of the credit. In 1981, 880 million Chinese citizens suffered from extreme poverty. By 2010, this had fallen to 150 million. Thanks to the Middle Kingdom's economic miracle, the global population is doing a little better.

But only a little. Because if you start thinking too much about the situation in sub-Saharan Africa, or the impact that the Chinese economy his having on certain social classes in other countries across the globe, you'll quickly get back to hiding under your sofa cushions.


This article is part of our Behind the Numbers series, illustrating newsworthy stats with artistic design and a brief analysis.

Story by

Matthieu Amaré

Je viens du sud de la France. J'aime les traditions. Mon père a été traumatisé par Séville 82 contre les Allemands au foot. J'ai du mal avec les Anglais au rugby. J'adore le jambon-beurre. Je n'ai jamais fait Erasmus. Autant vous dire que c'était mal barré. Et pourtant, je suis rédacteur en chef du meilleur magazine sur l'Europe du monde.

Translated from Le chiffre qui parle : vers la fin de l’extrême pauvreté sur Terre ?