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Summary

This chapter has presented the various definitions used to measure the number of people living in poverty. The “absolute definition” of people who live in extreme poverty is those who earn less than $1.25 a day (an estimated 1.4 billion). Those who live in moderate poverty earn between $1.25 and $2 a day (an estimated 1.6 billion). Adding to this the additional 1 billion estimated to be living in relative poverty, 4 billion could be considered poor. Although the majority (63%) of the extreme poor live in India and China, Africa has the greatest percentage of its population living in poverty.

Several major factors related to causing or reflecting poverty include those related to health, the environment, the economy, infrastructures, education, social factors, and family planning. Existing ideas (a barrel of solutions) for addressing these are presented in Chapter 2.

We concluded with ways that the nonpoor are also impacted by poverty, citing seven reasons we should all do all we can:

  • Wasted lives that may have contributed to family, friends, communities, and society
  • Crime
  • Spread of illnesses and health problems
  • Potential to follow demagogues
  • Untapped market potential
  • The collapse of failed states that then require our resources
  • Illegal immigration into the developed world
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