Contrary to what you read or hear, the world is making great strides towards abolishing poverty.
As part of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations (UN), the UN has set a target of ending extreme poverty by 2030. Leading experts support this as a realistic goal, projecting trends over the next 15 years to demonstrate that the dream of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 is absolutely possible.
Reducing extreme poverty as quickly as possible depends on more economic growth aimed at helping the poorest people in the world. If the income of the poorest 40 percent of people rises faster than the average, extreme poverty can be history by 2030.
Here is why poverty is on the decline:
People are living longer
Humans are winning the fight against death. “There is not a single country in the world where infant or child mortality today is not lower than it was in 1950,” writes Angus Deaton, a Princeton economist who works on global health issues.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the percentage of children who died before their fifth birthday between 1990 and 2010 dropped by nearly half. Preventable deaths from diseases like measles declined by more than 71 percent. Maternal deaths dropped by half. And HIV deaths are down by 25 percent.
Life expectancy has gone up between 1990 and 2011 in every WHO income bracket across the globe. The gains are even more surprising if you view long term statistics. Global life expectancy was 47 years old in the early 1950s but has now risen to 70 years old by 2011.
What this means for eradicating poverty is that more adults are alive to raise their children, find employment and live without suffering from costly and painful illnesses.
As people suffer less from poverty, the world is a happier place
Societies are enjoying their highest standard of living ever. Although there are pockets where extreme poverty still exists, the world is making progress towards eliminating poverty. As a whole, the world is much richer than it was before.
721 million fewer people lived in extreme poverty ( under $1.25 a day) than in 1981, according to a new World Bank study. That’s a decline from 40 to about 14 percent of the world’s population.
And the trends are expected to continue. The decline in poverty is fueled by global economic growth which looks to be continuing. Global GDP grew by 2.9 percent according to IMF projections.
The majority of the recent decline in poverty comes from India and China, with almost 80 percent from China alone. But the poor haven’t been the only people benefitting from global economic growth. The global middle class have access to an ever-greater quality of life. Large-percentage growth in a nation’s GDP seem to correlate strongly with higher levels of happiness among the nation’s citizens. Simply put, people like to have things that make their lives easier.
Global economic growth in the past five decades has dramatically reduced poverty and made people around the world happier. And if the UN has their way, poverty will be a thing of the past by 2030.