Poor statistics: The tricky work of measuring falling global poverty

by / Monday, 12 October 2015 / Published in Economy

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Poor statistics


The number of poor people is declining, but the data are fuzzy

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“THIS is the best news story in the world,” said Jim Yong Kim, the president of the World Bank, of the announcement this month that the proportion of the world living in poverty is now in single digits, at 9.6%. The claim has rekindled a long smouldering debate over the reliability of such statistics.
Counting the poor is no easy task. The Bank bases its poverty figures on household surveys, which are undertaken by developing countries every few years. In the years between surveys, the Bank takes the last set of survey figures and shrinks them by assuming that the fortunes of the poor improve at the national growth rate. But the benefits of economic growth in many developing countries often accrue to the rich. In India and China, inequality has been increasing in recent years. From 1981 to 2010, the average poor person in sub-Saharan Africa saw no increase in their income even as economies …
Source: The Economy