The Economist -- "The past four years have seen an economic crisis coincide with a food-price spike. That must surely have boosted the number of the world’s poor (especially since food inflation hits the poor hardest)—right? Wrong. New estimates of the numbers of the world’s poor by the World Bank’s Development Research Group show that for the first time ever, poverty—defined as the number and share of people living below $1.25 a day (at 2005 prices)—fell in every region of the world in 2005-08." See below.
World Bank -- "The number of people in extreme poverty and the poverty rate declined in every region of the developing world during 2005-2008, the first time it ever happened over a three-year monitoring cycle since the World Bank started tracking extreme poverty.
The data released by the World Bank’s Development Research Group show that 22% of the developing world’s population – or 1.29 billion people – lived on $1.25 or less a day in 2008, down from 43% in 1990 and 52% in 1981 (see top chart above). The update draws on 850 household surveys conducted by nearly 130 countries, representing 90% of the developing world’s population. It covers 1981 to 2008, mainly because newer data from low-income countries are either scarce or not comparable with previous estimates, though more recent statistics are available for middle-income countries and a handful of poorer countries to allow preliminary estimates for 2010.
Those preliminary estimates indicate that by 2010 the $1.25-a-day poverty rate fell to less than half of the 1990 rate. That means the developing world has achieved, ahead of time, the United Nation’s first Millennium Development Goal of cutting the 1990 extreme-poverty rate in half by 2015. It also means most countries recovered quickly from the recent food, fuel and financial crises."