Data InsightsWas the global decline of extreme poverty only due to China?
May 03, 2024Max Roser and Pablo Arriagada

Was the global decline of extreme poverty only due to China?

Line chart showing the decrease in the share in extreme poverty for both the world and the world without considering China

The share of the world population living in extreme poverty has never declined as rapidly as in the past three decades.

The decline in China was particularly fast, and given that one in six people in the world live there, we’re often asked whether the decline in global poverty was only due to the decline in China.

The chart shows the data that answers this question. In red, we see the global decline. In green, we see the decline if we exclude China from the data. In the world outside of China, 29% lived in extreme poverty in 1990 — by 2022, this share was down to 11%.

The large economic growth that lifted 800 million Chinese people out of extreme poverty since 1990 was a major contributor to the global decline in poverty. But the non-Chinese world also achieved a very large reduction.

It is not true that the global decline in poverty was only due to China. Extreme poverty has declined in China and the rest of the world.