Adesoji Adegbulu

Where Do the World’s 1.2 Billion Poor People Live?

According to the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index Report recently published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), there are 1.2 billion people in the world. These are people who live on less than $1.90 per day and are said to live in acute multidimensional poverty.

Poverty is multidimensional and it is measured by a combination of indicators such as but not limited to nutrition, years of schooling, child mortality, sanitation, drinking water access, electricity, etc. All these are combined, calculated, and measured as Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). MPI falls within the range of 0 and 1. The lower MPI values (0 to 0.5) represent a better performance regarding multidimensional poverty.

Where Do the 1.2 Billion Poor People Live?


The world’s 1.2 billion poor people live in 111 developing countries, half (593 million) of which are children under the age of 18 and nearly 8.1 percent (94 million) are aged 60 or older. This means nearly 475 million are aged between 18 and 60 years old.


579 million poor people live in Sub-Saharan Africa, 385 million in South Asia, and the rest in East Asia and the Pacific. The two regions (Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia) represent 83 percent of poor people in the world. Based on areas, 964 million people live in rural areas while the remaining 198 million live in urban areas.


More than 792 million poor people live in middle-income countries.


How Poor Are We?