Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

China makes huge strides to tackle poverty, report says

By Grigory Kravtsov, for CNN
December 24, 2013 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
A man begs on a street in Shanghai on May 22, 2013. China has cut its
A man begs on a street in Shanghai on May 22, 2013. China has cut its "extreme poverty" rate by nearly three-quarters.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Gallup report shows China growth responsible for reduction in extreme poverty for many
  • Rapid economic development and urbanization also major contributing factors
  • But 54% of Sub-Saharan Africa lives on less than US$ 1.25 or less a day
  • World Bank aims to cut down on those that live in "extreme poverty" to 3% worldwide by 2030

Hong Kong (CNN) -- More than one in five people live in extreme poverty globally, according to a new report, though China's continued economic growth has improved the lives of millions.

The poverty rate in the world's most populous country fell by nearly three-quarters in the last six years, from 26% in 2007 to 7% by 2012, the report by Gallup, a U.S.-based research company, said.

Such a trend is attributed to the economic reforms within the country in the last couple of decades. One particular aspect of this socio-economic success has been the rapid industrialization of the country, with a major pivot of people moving from the poorer rural areas of the country to more well off jobs in urban centers, particularly within the manufacturing sector.

Improved education and healthcare have also played a role in helping many out of poverty in China.

Growth factor

But China's remarkable economic growth, which has rebounded to 7.8% this quarter, up from the previous quarter's growth of 7.5% has been crucial -- though forecasts by the International Monetary Fund estimate growth will slow down in 2014, falling to 7.25%.

These substantial strides by China meant overall poverty across the globe was halved from 40% to 20% within two decades, according to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

Gallup interviews more than 2,000 people per year within China to obtain its results.

Many remain in poverty

Despite China's stellar improvements, the data found that many across the globe still live in extreme poverty, which Gallup classifies as those living on US$ 1.25 a day or less.

Sub-Saharan Africa was found to have the highest levels of poverty, with the majority of the population in the region -- 54% -- living under extreme poverty. The statistics in Liberia and Burundi are even more dire, with 90% of the population classed in this category.

At the other end of the spectrum, the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand all had the most positive results, with 1% or less of the overall population in these regions living in conditions of extreme poverty.

The World Bank is aiming to cut the extreme poverty rate to 3% globally by 2030. This ambitious aim means that many countries in Africa and Asia would need to slash their "extreme poverty rates" by over half.

Gallup surveyed 131 countries and its findings were solely based on self-reported income.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0109 GMT (0909 HKT)
The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, set off a media kerfuffle this month when he spoke about his next reincarnation.
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 1418 GMT (2218 HKT)
He's one of the fieriest political activists in Hong Kong — he's been called an "extremist" by China's state-run media — and he's not old enough to drive.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
China has no wine-making tradition but the country now uncorks more bottles of red than any other.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
Christians in eastern China keep watch in Wenzhou, where authorities have demolished churches and removed crosses.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 0538 GMT (1338 HKT)
Home-grown hip-hop appeals to a younger generation but its popularity has not translated into record deals and profits for budding rap artists.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0545 GMT (1345 HKT)
Reforms to the grueling gaokao - the competitive college entrance examination - don't make the grade, says educator Jiang Xueqin.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Beijing grapples with reports from Iraq that a Chinese national fighting for ISIS has been captured.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0200 GMT (1000 HKT)
CNN's David McKenzie has tasted everything from worms to grasshoppers while on the road; China's cockroaches are his latest culinary adventure.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 0057 GMT (0857 HKT)
Beijing rules only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)
China warns the United States to end its military surveillance flights near Chinese territory.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0312 GMT (1112 HKT)
China has produced elite national athletes but some argue the emphasis on winning discourages children. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 0513 GMT (1313 HKT)
Chinese are turning to overseas personal shoppers to get their hands on luxury goods at lower prices.
August 15, 2014 -- Updated 0908 GMT (1708 HKT)
Experts say rapidly rising numbers of Christians are making it harder for authorities to control the religion's spread.
August 11, 2014 -- Updated 0452 GMT (1252 HKT)
"I'm proud of their moral standing," says Harvey Humphrey. His parents are accused of corporate crimes in China.
August 6, 2014 -- Updated 1942 GMT (0342 HKT)
A TV confession detailing a life of illegal gambling and paid-for sex has capped the dramatic fall of one of China's most high-profile social media celebrities.
July 31, 2014 -- Updated 0410 GMT (1210 HKT)
President Xi Jinping's campaign to punish corrupt Chinese officials has snared its biggest target -- where can the campaign go from here?
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 0712 GMT (1512 HKT)
All you need to know about the tainted meat produce that affects fast food restaurants across China, Hong Kong, and Japan.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 0230 GMT (1030 HKT)
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Is the Chinese president a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 0344 GMT (1144 HKT)
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
ADVERTISEMENT