Sick of hearing bad news about global poverty? Here’s five of the best news stories you’ll ever hear.
1. In your own lifetime you have seen an entire nation, South Korea, lift out of poverty. In the 1960s South Korea had poverty rates to match Bangladesh and Malawi of today. But now South Korea is one of the world’s rich nations;
2. A number of nations are following in South Korea’s footsteps. In 1993 64% of people in Vietnam were living in extreme poverty. Just 15 years later this had fallen to 17%. In 1987 68% of Indonesians lived in extreme poverty. By 2010 this had fallen to 18%. In 1981 84% of Chinese lived in extreme poverty. By 2008 this had fallen to 13%*.
3. It took Australia more than 50 years to reduce its child mortality rate from 200/1000 to 50 (1885-1938). Bangladesh did it in 30 years (1980-2010).**
4. Child mortality rates in Africa are falling faster than in any other region of the world. It took India 25 years to reduce its child mortality rate from around 120 child deaths per 1,000 births to 72 now. It took Rwanda and Senegal only about five years.***
5. In the year 2000 more than 20 million children in India were out of primary school. Just 5 years later this was reduced to 7.5 million. ****
*Using the number of people living on less than $1/day as a proxy for extreme poverty. Source World Bank
** Source Gapminder
*** Source http://www.economist.com/node/21555571
**** Source gapminder