Poverty Facts
Poverty can be found citywide, statewide, nationally and globally. Poverty can develop in the smallest or most unexpected locations — familiar places, not simply distant third world countries separated from the cozy upper-middle-class Western lifestyle. This is a global issue that must be dealt with by the international community. Some efforts are being made to that effect, but not enough. Here are 20 poverty facts:

Top 20 Global Poverty Facts

  1. Nearly 22,000 children die each day due to living in poverty.
  2. There are 2.2 billion children in the world, and 1 billion of them live in poverty.
  3. A third of all poor in developing countries are children aged zero to 12.
  4. Global poverty has decreased by half over the last decade; however, 71 percent of the population still live in low-income or poor ($10 a day) conditions.
  5. The average income of extreme poverty in the developing world rose from 74 cents to 87 cents per day from 1981 to 2010.
  6. A quarter of humanity, 1.6 billion people, lives without electricity.
  7. Nearly 2.8 billion people rely on wood chips, crop waste or animal dung for cooking and heating their homes.
  8. In 2011, about 800 children under the age of five died every hour.
  9. Those children could have survived via simple affordable intervention, such as clean drinking water or vaccinations.
  10. According to an Oxfam report, if the world’s 100 richest people pooled their collective earnings in 2012, they could have ended extreme world poverty four times over.
  11. Eight in 10 Americans were completely unaware that global poverty was decreasing in recent decades. More than two-thirds of the American population thought global poverty had been rising in recent decades.
  12. One frappuccino at Starbucks costs more than the median income for people in the developing world ($3 a day).
  13. For every $25 spent on repaying debt only $1 goes to aiding a developing country.
  14. Approximately 790 million people in developing countries, two-thirds of whom live in Asia and the Pacific, suffer from chronic undernourishment.
  15. Five countries house three-fifths of the world’s extreme poor: Bangladesh, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India and Nigeria.
  16. About 30 percent of the world’s extremely poor live in India.
  17. The 12 percent of the world that uses 85 percent of Earth’s water do not live in a developing country.
  18. Some 54 percent of Americans are considered to be living below the poverty line.
  19. The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), released in 2014, has been praised for being the “most accurate reflection of the world’s poor” by including quality of life indicators.
  20. By maintaining the current rate of progress, poverty should reach its target eradication around 2025-2030.

Even though the efforts and statistics appear bleak, progress is making headway. These 20 poverty facts demonstrate a push in the right direction that the world’s poor need.

Karyn Adams

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Kenya
The stereotype still remains that Africa as a whole is vastly impoverished and desolate. While certainly some pockets of the continent continue to suffer, poverty in Kenya is showing great improvement.

10. Kenya has one of the highest rates of population growth.
Kenya’s population has nearly tripled in the last 35 years, from 16.3 million in 1980 to 47 million today. And not surprisingly …

9. Children make up nearly half of the population.
Of those living in Kenya, 42 percent are children under 15. This has major implications for the country’s infrastructure, and leaders are realizing it is past time to support these children.

8. Life expectancy is increasing.
According to The World Bank, life expectancy was 53 years old in 2000 but has increased every year since. Now, life expectancy is at 62 and is predicted to continue to rise. The majority of these improvements are from public health initiatives, particularly surrounding HIV/AIDS prevention after the disease was officially declared a natural disaster by the government in 2001.

7. There are not many physicians in Kenya.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is only one doctor and 12 nurses or midwives per 10,000 people in Kenya. This shortage of medical professionals is a severe problem for the nation, although major public health interventions have helped to reduce the mortality rate, such as those taken with HIV/AIDS as well as many waterborne illnesses.

6. The poorest inhabitants live in rural areas.
With limited access to the few physicians and nurses who do inhabit the country, rural areas suffer the greatest. Comprised mostly of farmers and other agricultural workers, those living in rural areas often go without healthcare, clean water and sanitation, as well as many other social services which primarily are located in the cities and business regions. Poverty in Kenya is a widespread problem but is concentrated in rural areas.

5. The nation is not economically diverse.
The vast majority of all work lies in the agricultural sector, thus when droughts and other natural disasters occur, farmers are out of luck.

4. Kenya is on the path to economic growth.
With the realization of a lack of diversification, there have been improvements in the infrastructure of the Kenyan government and increased attention to the urban and business regions of the country, as well as increases in manufacturing.

3. Kenya has one of the highest literacy rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The youth literacy rate in Kenya is at about 85 percent as of this year, which is greater than its neighboring nations. For example, the youth literacy rate is 79 percent in Uganda, 61 percent in Sudan and 45 percent in Ethiopia.

2. School enrollment is 90 percent.
Correlated to a high literacy rate, school enrollment is quite high in Kenya. This is also reflected in the countries surrounding Kenya with lower literacy rates such as Ethiopia, South Sudan and Uganda.

1. There is hope.
Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) is a school for girls in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa. Founded by Kennedy Odede, a native of Kibera, SHOFCO believes “the fight against urban poverty begins with a girl” and has enacted comprehensive education and healthcare systems to ensure free, quality primary education as well as free healthcare and social services for the girls. They are also the largest employer in Kibera, employing teachers as well as social services such as psychologists, doctors and even soccer coaches. Organizations such as SHOFCO exist throughout Kenya that are dedicated to promoting gender equality, education and basic human needs to a population that certainly needs it. With determined individuals such as those who work at SHOFCO, poverty in Kenya will decrease and put the country on a trajectory towards success.

– Liz Vestal

Sources: UNICEF, World Bank, Answers Africa, Our Africa, SHOFCO
Photo: Flickr,

Most people are aware of the existence of poverty on the global level. Many frequently receive flyers in the mail or run into something on the Internet asking to donate to the cause. However, many people are unaware of how concentrated and gendered poverty is and exactly how much money it would take to tackle worldwide poverty. Here are four facts on global poverty to help expand your understanding.

1. Sixty-five Percent of the World’s Hungry Are Located in Seven Countries

Most of the hungry people in the world can be found in India, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Because of the concentration of these people, those born in these countries are at a greater risk of living in deplorable conditions. The poor economic opportunities and limited availability of education in these countries perpetuates the cycle of poverty; thus, expanding and continuing hunger, malnutrition and vulnerability to natural disasters.

2. Global Poverty has a Different Affect on Women

Sixty percent of the hungry people in the world are women. Like men, poverty forces impoverished women to be at risk of starvation, malnutrition and poor health. However, unlike men, poverty makes it harder for women to have access to education and contraceptives. Because of the lack of gender equality in many of these countries, poverty disproportionately affects women. Women have even less access to education than men and they often times do not have the opportunity to utilize contraceptives because of the lack of availability and the cost. The minimal access to contraceptives puts women at a greater risk of dying during childbirth. The lack of gender equality also makes it harder for women to utilize education to exit the cycle of poverty.

3. Global Poverty Can End with the Help of 100 People

Often times, poverty seems like a hard giant to tackle because of the seemingly massive price tag. However, if one hundred of the world’s richest people contributed some of their net worth, poverty could be eliminated “four-times over.” This option is not particularly favorable among many because it seems to put unwanted pressure on people who seem to have no obligation to help those they have not met. However, there is another alternative that would alleviate pressure on the world’s wealthiest people.

4. $30 Billion per year From the U.S. Government Would Eradicate Global Hunger

One of the biggest resources is a national government. Many have estimated that $30 billion a year could end global poverty. This may seem like a lot of money to the casual onlooker, but when taking into consideration that $530 billion was committed to the U.S. military in the 2010 national budget, it is a doable amount. Through the reallocation of money into the foreign aid budget, the U.S. could be the biggest contributor to eliminating global poverty.

– Erin Logan

Sources: U.N. Millennium Project,, The Hunger Project, The Borgen Project, Oxfam, FAO, UNDP
Photo: Huffington Post