$1.90 a day - Share of population in poverty

What you should know about this indicator

  • The data is measured in international-$ at 2011 prices – this adjusts for inflation and for differences in the cost of living between countries.
  • Data after 1981 relates to household income or consumption surveys collated by the World Bank; before 1981 it is based on historical reconstructions of GDP per capita and inequality data.
$1.90 a day - Share of population in poverty
Share of the population living below $1.90 a day
Michalis Moatsos (2021) – with major processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
October 9, 2023
Next expected update
October 2024
Date range

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

This dataset includes the share in extreme poverty, estimated by Michalis Moatsos based on the 'cost of basic needs' approach.

The ‘cost of basic needs’ approach was recommended by the World Bank Commission on Global Poverty, headed by Tony Atkinson, as a complementary method in measuring poverty.

Tony Atkinson –and, after his death, his colleagues– turned this report into a book that was published as Measuring Poverty around the World.

The work by Moatsos is based on what was suggested by Allen in Robert Allen (2017) – Absolute poverty: When necessity displaces desire. In American Economic Review, Vol. 107/12, pp. 3690-3721,

Moatsos describes the methodology as follows: “In this approach, poverty lines are calculated for every year and country separately, rather than using a single global line. The second step is to gather the necessary data to operationalize this approach alongside imputation methods in cases where not all the necessary data are available. The third step is to devise a method for aggregating countries’ poverty estimates on a global scale to account for countries that lack some of the relevant data.” In his publication you find much more detail on all of the shown poverty data.

This dataset also includes the share of people living below $1.90 (2011 prices) for comparison.

Retrieved on
October 9, 2023
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
Moatsos, M. (2021) Global extreme poverty: Present and past since 1820. Published in OECD (2021), How Was Life? Volume II: New Perspectives on Well-being and Global Inequality since 1820, OECD Publishing, Paris,

How we process data at Our World in Data

All data and visualizations on Our World in Data rely on data sourced from one or several original data providers. Preparing this original data involves several processing steps. Depending on the data, this can include standardizing country names and world region definitions, converting units, calculating derived indicators such as per capita measures, as well as adding or adapting metadata such as the name or the description given to an indicator.

At the link below you can find a detailed description of the structure of our data pipeline, including links to all the code used to prepare data across Our World in Data.

Read about our data pipeline
Notes on our processing step for this indicator

From the share and number unable to meet basic needs available in the dataset, we can estimate the number below different "dollar a day" poverty lines. Additionally, we estimate the share and number above these poverty lines, as well between them. We also estimate the share and number of people able to meet basic needs.

Rolling averages by decade have been calculated for the original estimates before 1981, to address uncertainty in the data.

Reuse this work

  • All data produced by third-party providers and made available by Our World in Data are subject to the license terms from the original providers. Our work would not be possible without the data providers we rely on, so we ask you to always cite them appropriately (see below). This is crucial to allow data providers to continue doing their work, enhancing, maintaining and updating valuable data.
  • All data, visualizations, and code produced by Our World in Data are completely open access under the Creative Commons BY license. You have the permission to use, distribute, and reproduce these in any medium, provided the source and authors are credited.


How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: $1.90 a day - Share of population in poverty”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from Michalis Moatsos. Retrieved from [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Michalis Moatsos (2021) – with major processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

Michalis Moatsos (2021) – with major processing by Our World in Data. “$1.90 a day - Share of population in poverty” [dataset]. Michalis Moatsos, “Global extreme poverty - Present and past since 1820” [original data]. Retrieved July 25, 2024 from