Fact Question 3

This question was asked to the public in 14 countries in the Gapminder Misconception Study 2017 »


The question

In the last 20 years, the proportion of the world population living in extreme poverty has . . .”

  • A: almost doubled.
  • B: remained more or less the same.
  • C: almost halved.



Correct answer is C. The share of people living on less than $1.9/day fell from 34 percent in 1993 to 10.7 percent in 2013, according to World Bank[5]. Despite the impression of precision given by the precise threshold of $1.9/day and the use of decimals, the uncertainties in these numbers are very large. Extreme poverty is very difficult to measure: the poorest people are mostly subsistence farmers or destitute slum dwellers, with unpredictable and constantly changing living conditions and few documented monetary transactions. But even if the exact levels are uncertain, the trend direction is not uncertain, because the sources of error are probably constant over time. We can trust that the level has fallen to at least half, if not one-third.


The question comes from Gapminder Test 2017, that 12 000 people in 14 countries took. Read more about the test here. See the results from audiences at our lectures here. Take the test – available in several languages – here.


This page is under construction. We are working on it (and a lot of other pages too). If you need this particular page urgently, you can always drop us a line, and we might be able to squeeze it to the top of our prio list…

Contact us at [email protected].


Japanese: このページを含め、多くの出典ページは現在改稿中です。このページの情報がいますぐ知りたいという方は [email protected] までご連絡ください。