The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Income Poverty Still Falling, but More Slowly


The share of people living in extreme poverty-on less than $1.25 a
day-is expected to fall slightly this year, declining from 21.3 percent
in 2008 to 20.7 in 2009, according to the latest Vital Signs Update.
Despite these gains, the economic crisis is slowing recent progress in
reducing the number of people around the world living in extreme

According to the latest Vital Signs poverty update:

  • The global recession will cause anywhere from 55
    million to 90 million more people to remain in poverty in 2009 than
    would otherwise have been the case.
  • The number of chronically hungry people is expected to top 1 billion in 2009, up from 850 millionin 2007.

  • By one estimate, agricultural productivity losses associated with
    climate change could increase the number of people suffering from
    malnutrition by 600 million by 2080.

This new poverty update includes the latest figures on the share of the
world population living in extreme poverty and a 2008-2009 poverty
outlook by region.

Read the Vital Signs analysis, "Income Poverty Still Falling, but More Slowly" by Hilary French.

The Worldwatch Institute was a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C., founded by Lester R. Brown. Worldwatch was named as one of the top ten sustainable development research organizations by Globescan Survey of Sustainability Experts. Brown left to found the Earth Policy Institute in 2000. The Institute was wound up in 2017, after publication of its last State of the World Report. was unreachable from mid-2019.