What Do National Poverty Lines Tell Us About Global Poverty? IDS Working Paper

The basic question about ‘how many poor people are there in the world?’ generally assumes that poverty is measured according to international poverty lines (IPLs). Yet, an equally relevant question could be ‘how many poor people are there in the world, based on how poverty is defined where those people live?’ In short, rather than a comparison based on monetary values, the latter question is germane to estimates based on a concept – ‘poverty’ – as defined by countries’ specific circumstances and institutions. This paper offers a new perspective on global poverty. It does so by estimating the distribution of poverty across countries, regions and income categories based on national poverty lines
(NPLs). By addressing the question of poverty as defined where those poor people live, this paper
seeks to offer a new perspective on global poverty and at the same time extend thinking on the
‘middle-income countries poverty paradox’ – meaning that most of the world’s poor do not live
in the world’s poorest countries.

Published 2012-06-11

Document Information

Publication year
2012
Format
pdf, 48p.
Rights
© Institute of Development Studies 2012
Creative Commons License
None
Identifier
ISBN: 978-1-78118-060-0

Document Information

Publication year
2012
Format
pdf, 48p.
Rights
© Institute of Development Studies 2012
Creative Commons License
None
Identifier
ISBN: 978-1-78118-060-0