About 44 Indians come out of extreme poverty every minute, one of the fastest rates of poverty reduction in the world
India is likely to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030, and less than 3 percent Indians will be poor by 2020, according to a recent study published in a Brookings blog.
About 44 Indians come out of extreme poverty every minute, one of the fastest rates of poverty reduction in the world, and India's rank could come down to number three if this continues, The Times of India reported.
India, which used to be home to the largest number of poor people in the world, was overtaken by Nigeria in May this year.
"At the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India's 73 million. What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall," the newspaper quoted the report as saying.
What is extreme poverty?
Extreme poverty is defined as living on less than $1.9 a day.
The benchmark projections of poverty by country imply a high speed of poverty reduction in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, fuelled by the high rates of growth in income per capita in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, China and Pakistan, the study revealed.
Increase in income across the globe in the last few decades has led to a systematic decrease in poverty rates, with the experience in India and China having played the most important role when it comes to the total number of people coming out of absolute poverty.
Will India be able to root out extreme poverty by 2030?
According to economists, the findings of the study support the argument that rapid economic growth had helped make a dent in extreme poverty.
"Basically it supports the growth story and the 1991 economic reforms that have helped reduce poverty," NR Bhanumurthy, professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, was quoted as saying.
"Going ahead, the challenge is to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, which will help realise the study's findings that India would be able to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030," he said.
Bhanumurthy said the assumption that India would be able to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 seems realistic given the country's track record over the past 10 years in reducing poverty and its ability to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
"But to achieve that we must continue to grow at 7%-8% for the remaining period," Bhanumurthy said. The UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Goals aim to eliminate global poverty by 2030.
What is the World Poverty Clock?
At the heart of the study is the World Poverty Clock. It takes into account household surveys and projections of economic growth from the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook.
These form the basic building blocks for poverty trajectories computed for 188 countries. The study showed that Africa accounts for around two-thirds of the world's extreme poor.
If current trends persist, the continent will account for nine-tenths of the world's extreme poor by 2030. As many as 14 of the 18 countries in the world where the number of extreme poor is rising, are in Africa.
The study estimated that on September 1, 2017, 647 million people across the world lived in extreme poverty.
"Every minute 70 people escape poverty (or 1.2 people per second). This is close to the Sustainable Development Goal target (92 people per minute, or 1.5 per second) and allows us to estimate that around 36 million people have escaped extreme poverty in the year 2016," the study was quoted as saying.