How many people living in poverty are there?

Some figures from the United Nations Development Programme:

  • More than a billion people live with less than a dollar per day.
  • 2.8 billion people, that is to say almost half of the global population, live with less than 2 dollars per day.
  • 448 million children are underweight.
  • 876 million adults are illiterate, two thirds of which are women.
  • Every day, 30,000 children under 5 die from avoidable diseases.
  • More than a billion people don’t have access to healthy water.
  • 20% of the global population have 90% of the wealth.

ATD Fourth World produces qualitative studies on extreme poverty through its Research Institute, but it is not a statistics-producing organisation. Since the 60’s, ATD Fourth World has asked the authorities, in each country it is present, in Europe then worldwide, to give themselves the means to meticulously measure how many people are victims of extreme poverty and the effects of policies designed to overcome destitution.

Gradually, studies have been carried out. Mostly these are statistics on the income of people and households, but also on access to work, accommodation, healthcare, an education system and adult training. These statistics can be found on the websites of global organisations such as the World Bank, UNDP; or Eurostat, the European statistical organisation and on national statistical sites.

However, most of the time, there is no simultaneous review of data to allow measurement of how many people or households have difficulties (no money, no accommodation, no work, no access to healthcare, no quality education etc.) and for how long. And yet the poorest people and families are known to be in gradually worsening situations.

ATD Fourth World asks statistic-producing organisations to work with representatives of people living in exteme poverty to define together all participative indicators of the fight against poverty and exclusion.