India not home to largest number of people in extreme poverty now

India is no longer the home to the largest number of people living in extreme poverty, a recent study says. Nigeria, in western Africa, is now at number one says the report published by US think-tank Brookings.

It says the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also in Africa, could soon get the number 2 tag. The blog mentions that by the end of May 2018, Nigeria had about 87 million people living in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million. Extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute.

Highlights of the study:

India has finally shed the dubious distinction of being home to the largest number of poor, with Nigeria taking that unwanted position in May 2018.

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.

About 44 Indians come out of extreme poverty every minute, one of the fastest rates of poverty reduction in the world. If present trends continue, India could drop to No. 3 later this year, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo taking the number 2 spot.

The study showed global income increases in the last decades have led to systematic decreases in poverty rates worldwide, with the experience in India and China has played the most important role when it comes to the overall number of persons escaping absolute poverty.

The study said that Africa accounts for about two-thirds of the world’s extreme poor. If current trends persist, they will account for nine-tenths by 2030. Fourteen out of 18 countries in the world where the number of extreme poor is rising are in Africa.

The estimates of extreme poverty reduction may not match with Indian numbers because of differences in how poverty is measured. According to the World Bank, between 2004 and 2011 poverty declined in India from 38.9% of the population to 21.2% (2011 purchasing power parity at $1.9 per person per day).

In the last four years, Indian government initiated some structural reforms but it must do more to achieve a double-digit growth rate, create more jobs, revamp land and labor markets, implement the recommendations of Niti Aayog on the ease of doing business in India and accelerate privatization.

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