6 Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty

Where do we stand?

Eastern Asia sets the pace for worldwide progress on working poverty. Proportion of employed people living below $1.25. (source: The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012)

Line Chart

For the first time both the number of people living in extreme poverty and the poverty rates fell in every developing region—including in sub-Saharan Africa, where rates are highest. In the developing regions, the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 47 per cent in 1990 to 24 per cent in 2008. In 2008, about 110 million fewer people than in 2005 lived in conditions of extreme poverty. The number of extreme poor in the developing regions fell from over 2 billion in 1990 to less than 1.4 billion in 2008.

Read more in The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012

UNDP's work around the globe

Quick facts

  • The proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day fell from 47 per cent in 1990 to 24 per cent in 2008—a reduction from over 2 billion to less than 1.4 billion.
  • Preliminary estimates indicate that the global poverty rate at $1.25 a day fell in 2010 to less than half the 1990 rate. If these results are confirmed, the first target of the MDGs— cutting the extreme poverty rate to half its 1990 level—will have been achieved at the global level well ahead of 2015.
  • Women are far more likely than men to be engaged in vulnerable employment
  • The numbers of malnourished have stabilized since 1990
  • Progress in relieving food deprivation has slowed or stalled in many regions
  • Countries in sub-Saharan Africa were the hardest hit by the food and financial crises
  • Nearly one in five children under age five in the developing world is underweight
  • Differences in undernutrition found between rural and urban children are largest in Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Poverty is a major determinant of undernutrution in children in all regions
  • The number of refugees and of the displaced remains high, even with an upturn in repatriation in 2011

Read more in The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012 >

1.28 years
remaining
until 2015

1990 2015
Featured Publication
The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012

Three important targets on poverty, slums and water have been met three years ahead of 2015, says this year’s Report. Meeting the remaining targets, while challenging, is possible ─ but only if Governments do not waiver from their commitments.


More MDG-related publications
Targets for MDG1
  1. Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day
    • Proportion of population below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Poverty gap ratio
    • Share of poorest quintile in national consumption
  2. Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people
    • Growth rate of GDP per person employed
    • Employment-to-population ratio
    • Proportion of employed people living below $1 (PPP) per day
    • Proportion of own-account and contributing family workers in total employment
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
    • Prevalence of underweight children under-five years of age
    • Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption
Picture This: We Can End Poverty
  • Daily Work
  • We Choose Bicycles
  • Feeling Better
  • A Step Ahead
  • Liquid Gold
  • My Braille Typewriters

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Kick Out Poverty TV Spot

UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors Zinedine Zidane and Didier Drogba mobilize their team against poverty.