Thursday, August 28, 2008

Asian Poverty Line at $1.35 per day

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has come up with its own benchmark to measure poverty in Asia. The new Asian Poverty Line defines poverty as living on $1.35 a day. The total number of poor people in Asia with this estimate is about 800 million. Last month, the World Bank economists revised poverty estimate and set the international poverty line as $1.25 a day in 2005 prices.

The ADB has set Asian Poverty Line by calculating the median of the national poverty lines of 15 of the poorest countries in Asia. In case of the WB estimate, the international poverty line was calculated using the same technique but there was just one country from Asia, i.e. Nepal in the list, which was dominated by African nations.

Asian Povery Line countries

This is what percentage of population (headcount) living below the $1.35 poverty line look like:

Headcount poverty under $1.35

And, this is what percentage of population living below the Asian Poverty Line looks like as against the $1 and $2 a day estimate:

Clearly, for Nepal with the new ADB estimate the percentage of population living in poverty is higher than under $1 a day. Under $1.35 a day estimate 59.5% of the population live in poverty, while under $1 a day 24.7% and under $2 a day 64.3% of the population live in poverty.