Tuesday, April 17, 2007

WB: 19% of RP population in 2000 very poor

At least 14.8 million Filipinos try to survive on less than $1 a day, accounting for 1.5 percent of the people in the world currently trapped in extreme poverty, according to latest World Bank estimates.

But some 43 million in the Philippines, based on the country’s population in 2000, live on $2 a day, the less extreme international measure of poverty.

Data from the World Development Indicators (WDI) 2007 showed that global poverty rates continued to fall in the first four years of the 21st century, with the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day falling below the 1 billion mark.

Two-dollar-a-day poverty rates were falling too, but an estimated 2.6 billion people, almost half the population of the developing world, were still living below that level in 2004.

The WDI Indicators 2007, a publication, was launched here on Sunday on the sidelines of the joint International Monetary Fund-World Bank spring meetings.

People living on less than $1 a day fell to 18.4 percent as a share of the total population in 2004, leaving an estimated 985 million people living in extreme poverty.

By comparison, the total number of the world’s extremely poor was 1.25 billion in 1990.

Between 1990 and 2004, dollar-a-day poverty fell by more than 260 million, according to the World Bank.

Filipinos living on the $1-a-day international poverty line accounted for 19 percent of the Philippine population of 76.5 million as of May 2000. (The country’s population today is about 88 million.)

Poverty measures, based on an international poverty line, attempt to hold the real value of poverty constant across countries, as done when making comparisons over time.

The commonly used $1-a-day standard, measured in 1985 international prices and adjusted to local currency, is typical of the poverty lines in low-income countries.

By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer

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