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[Excerpt] Asia and the Pacific continues to lead the world in reducing extreme poverty, defined as the number of people living on less than $1.25 per day. In 1981, the region had 1.59 billion people living in poverty—a poverty rate of 69.8%. The number of poor people in the region has fallen to 1.48 billion people in 1990 with the poverty rate decreasing to 54.7%. By 2005, the poverty rate fell further to 26.7%.

However, the $1.25 per day poverty line is increasingly seen as inadequate for assessing the extent of extreme poverty for three main reasons:

  • (i) the $1.25 per day poverty line is based on a sample that is largely composed of African countries;
  • (ii) the impact of food insecurity on poverty incidence in the region; and
  • (iii) the increasing vulnerability to natural disasters and the increasing impact of climate change, as well as economic and other shocks, should be included in the assessment of poverty lines.


Suggested Citation
Asian Development Bank. (2014). e-Quarterly Research Bulletin. 5(3).

Required Publisher's Statement
This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (