Bar Chart of Extreme Poverty Declines by Region from 1981-2011

Extreme Poverty Declined 48% Over the Past 30 Years

The increase in prosperity in China and India has led to a 48% decrease in the number of people living on less than $1.25 per day.  The declines were steepest in East Asia and the Pacific (85%) and South Asia (30%).  Sub-Saharan Africa has seen a 98% increase in extreme poverty in the same time period.  Extreme poverty is much lower in the rest of the world. The World Bank tracks these statistics and provides a valuable data base for analyzing extreme poverty by country and region.  The chart below summarizes the data:

Extreme Poverty

The stacked bar chart shows both the overall decline and the decline in each region.  It allows you to see that the most of the worldwide decline occurred after 1990, but the decline in East Asia and the Pacific started in 1981.  The linked lines between the columns highlight the decade over decade decline by region.  I also removed some bars from the original World Bank data to focus on the decline by decade.  I added a data column to provide the overall percentage declines.  The values in each segment and the regions in a legend present all the chart data and make it easy foe the viewer to track the decline.  The chart in SlideShare below can be manipulated with our Mekko Graphics software: