General Article The new 'bottom billion'

Topic Selected: Poverty
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The global poverty problem has changed. In the past, poor people lived in poor countries but now there are around 960 million poor people, or a ‘new bottom billion’, living on under $1.25/day in middle-income countries, and most of these are in stable, non-fragile, middle-income countries.

Paul Collier’s bottom billion

In 2007, Collier published a book titled The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It. In this book, Collier defines the ‘bottom billion’ as the world’s 60 poorest countries, that are home to about a billion people. This implied that, if you lived in one of these countries, you were poor.

Redefining the ‘bottom billion’

This new bottom billion accounts for 72 per cent – almost three-quarters – of the world’s poor. Only about a quarter of the world’s poor – 370 million people or so – live in the remaining 39

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