Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

In signing Agenda 2030, governments around the world committed to ending poverty in all its manifestations, including its most extreme forms, over the next 15 years. They resolved that all people, everywhere, should enjoy a basic standard of living. This includes social protection benefits for the poor and most vulnerable and ensuring that people harmed by conflict and natural hazards receive adequate support, including access to basic services.

Poverty was halved over a decade, but one in eight people around the world still lived in extreme poverty in 2012

The international poverty line is currently defined as 1.90 US dollars per person per day using 2011 purchasing power parity (PPP). In the decade from 2002 to 2012, the proportion of the global population living below the poverty line dropped by half, from 26 to 13 per cent. If economic growth rates observed during those 10 years prevail for the next 15, the global rate for extreme poverty will likely fall to 4 per cent by 2030, assuming that growth benefits all income groups equally. Poverty remains widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 40 per cent of people lived on less than 1.90 US dollars a day in 2012.

Proportion of population living below 1.90 US dollars a day, 2002 and 2012 (percentage)

Note: The regional estimates for Northern Africa and Western Asia could not be calculated because the available data do not have sufficient population coverage.

Among the working poor, young people most likely to live in extreme poverty

In 2015, 10 per cent of the world’s workers and their families were living on less than 1.90 US dollars per person per day, down from 28 per cent in 2000. Young people aged 15 to 24 are most likely to be among the working poor: 16 per cent of all employed youth were living below the poverty line in 2015, compared with 9 per cent of working adults. One-third of all workers in sub-Saharan Africa and more than 18 per cent of workers in Southern Asia were among the working poor that year.

Proportion of employed population living below 1.90 US dollars a day, total, youth and adults, 2000 and 2015 (percentage)

About one in five people receive any type of social protection benefit in low-income countries

One way of further reducing poverty is to improve coverage of social protection programmes and target benefits to the poor and most vulnerable. Social protection programmes include social assistance, such as cash transfers, school feeding and targeted food assistance. Social insurance and labour market programmes are other forms of social protection, covering old-age and disability pensions, maternity benefits, unemployment insurance, skills training and wage subsidies, among others. Most poor people remain outside social protection systems, especially in poorer countries: about one in five people receive any type of benefit in low-income countries compared with two in three in upper-middle-income countries.

Proportion of the population receiving social protection benefits, most recent data available during 2000−2014 (percentage)