Despite the oft-touted economic strides made by China in recent decades, nearly all people living in China and other “developing” countries in East Asia would be living below the poverty line in the United States.
The World Bank database used the 2008 poverty line for a family of four in the United States, which was $13.50 daily per capita, and compared it to incomes in developing countries in six world regions.
In the East Asia and Pacific region, which includes China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, 96.6 percent of the population lives below the U.S. poverty line, according to 2008 figures.
That compares to 15 percent of Americans last year, even as the country struggled through high unemployment and other economic travails.
In the South Asia region, which includes India and its super-heated economy as well as Bangladesh and Pakistan, a shocking 99.7 percent of the population lives below the American poverty line.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, 98.6 percent live below the line; in the Middle East and North Africa, 95.3 percent; in Latin America and the Caribbean, 79.7 percent.
Even in the Europe and Central Asia region, which includes only its “developing” nations — low-income and middle-income countries — 72.1 percent of the population lives below the American line.
In the entire developing world, a total of 1.8 billion people, 94 percent of the population, are below the American threshold.
The World Bank also compiles data on those living below the “extreme poverty” line, which is $1.25 daily per capita.
Nearly half the population in Sub-Saharan Africa, 47.5 percent, lives below that line, as do 36 percent in South Asia and 14.3 percent in East Asia and the Pacific.
The good news is that the figure for all developing nations, 22.4 percent, is down substantially from 52.2 percent as recently as 1981.
But even in China, 13 percent of the population was considered to be living in extreme poverty in 2008.
“The bad news is that, for all the progress, the standards of living for the overwhelming majority of people remain far below first-world poverty levels,” Wendell Cox, a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris, observes on the New Geography website.
“It can only be hoped that the natural aspiration of the world’s billions for much better lives will be achieved.”
Is this article by the World Bank supposed to make Americans feel better about their deteriorating economic conditions? NOT!!
This post was modified from its original form on 30 Dec, 11:18
Really, what a joke!!!