How Much Does it Cost to End Global Poverty?

cost to end poverty
Today many people doubt the feasibility of poverty reduction, often citing the impossibility of raising enough funds. However a closer look at some statistics on global poverty suggests that not only is it possible to eradicate poverty, but its eradication would also come at an incredibly low cost.

  • In 2005, nearly 50% of the population in the world lived on the $2.50 per day line while 80% of the world lived under $10 a day.
  • The disparity between poor and rich is drastic as 40% of the world’s population account for 5% of the world’s income, while the richest 20% account for 75% of global income. Furthermore, the world’s richest 20% account for 76.6% of all private spending.
  • Approximately 0.13% of the global population controlled 25% of the world’s financial assets in 2004. In 2010, it was estimated that a mere 91,000 people owned one third of private financial wealth and half of offshore wealth. These extremely rich people account for only 0.001% of the world’s population.
  • In 2006, the world’s total GDP was $48.2 trillion. However, the world’s wealthiest countries also accounted for $36.6 trillion of that total.
  • The net worth of the world’s 497 billionaires is $3.5 trillion alone. These billionaires are only 0.000008% of the world’s 7 billion people.

What is the Cost of Ending Global Poverty


According to Mark Anielski, co-founder of the Canadian company Genuine Wealth, it would cost $29.39 billion to bump the incomes of 5.64 billion people to just $10 a day. This amount does not include individuals earning below $10 in developed countries.

Though the cost seems steep, in reality, $29.39 billion is only 0.5% of the estimated wealth of our billionaires. That is how much it really costs to fight global poverty. Even if income for the 80% living below $10 a day was bumped up to $20 a day, the $85.7 billion would only add up to 1.6% of the wealth of billionaires.

As indicated by these facts, the disparity between rich and poor is a significant hurdle in the fight against global poverty. Unequal income distribution means that the world’s poor have a substantially smaller piece of the pie. Yet according to these statistics, it would take very little to adjust global income to accommodate more people with a decent standard of living. Together we can eliminate global poverty.

– Grace Zhao

Sources: Troy Media, Global Issues