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The World’s a Little Richer

March 30, 2012

Imagine your daily consumption costing you less than a cup of Starbucks. About 1.3 billion people around the world live this reality. The good news is that it’s the lowest number of people ever.

The World Bank released an update to its consumption poverty estimates in developing countries, and for the first time ever, the organization found progress in all the regions they track. In terms of the number and percentage of people living on $1.25 a day (on a purchasing power parity) at 2005 prices in 130 developing countries, the world is a little richer.

The area seeing “dramatic progress” was East Asia, reports the World Bank. Back in the 1980s, this region had the world’s highest incidence of poverty. Nearly 80 percent of people lived on less than $1.25 each day; In 2008, the number dropped to 14 percent.

Across these poorest countries, in 1981, 70 percent of people were living on less than $2 a day; 2008 data shows that the figure has fallen to just above 40 percent. Whereas just over 50 percent of people in the poorest countries were living on less than $1.25 a day in 1981, only about 25 percent are today.

Developing World Never Been Richer

I discussed the importance of this rising consumer with CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia’s Martin Soong and Lisa Oake this week. I stopped by their studios while I was in Singapore to discuss my thoughts on the continuing build-out of emerging markets.

Watch it now.

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