Poverty ≠ Poverty


The word “poverty” has two different common meanings. First, it is the smallest income level in any given country. E.g. in the United States, over 20% of children live in poverty. Second, is the more global view, with the International Poverty Line set by the World Bank, at just $2.15.

The chart above shows the drastic difference in incomes between those two definitions. Do note that the horizontal axis is logarithmic, not linear. The U.S. poverty line is more than 10x higher than the international poverty line, with the distance between $2.15 and $5.00 being about the same as the distance between $10.00 and $24.55.

Quickly taking the above graph, tossing it in Photoshop, and roughly expanding the scale to be linear results in the following.

That makes it a lot more obvious how the “poor” in the U.S. are richer than most everyone in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and 100+ other countries, and how their lifestyle is akin to the middle class of Vietnam, Turkey, and 50+ other “middle income” countries.

Hopefully that shows how much more work to do there is in eliminating global poverty, especially given how challenging life is at even $5 of income per day, let alone $2.15.

By "Luni"


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