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Between 1970 and 2006, the global poverty rate has been cut by nearly three quarters.

Looking past the title (“Parametric Estimations of the World
Distribution of Income”), an interesting NBER paper from Maxim
Pinkovskiy and Xavier Sala-i-Martin shows that in spite of an 80%
increase in population between 1970 and 2006, poverty rates have
fallen by the same amount –  80%.

While the paper isn’t available online without a fee, in a blog post for VoxEU, the authors feature
some of their primary findings and graphs. They write:

World poverty is falling. This column
presents new estimates of the world’s income distribution and
suggests that world poverty is disappearing faster than previously
thought. From 1970 to 2006, poverty fell by 86% in South Asia, 73%
in Latin America, 39% in the Middle East, and 20% in Africa.
Barring a catastrophe, there will never be more than a billion
people in poverty in the future history of the world.

By Matt Ridley | Tagged:  rational-optimist