According to the World Bank standard, the poverty ratio or percentage of population living below the poverty line in developing countries has come down from 28% in 1990 to 21% in 2001. The World Bank standard of poverty line states that all people living under $1 per day live in poverty.
Poverty has declined in most regions of the world like China, East Asia and Pacific, South Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Poverty in China, and East Asia and Pacific regions has declined more rapidly than in South Asia. The rapid decline in poverty in China, East Asia and Pacific is associated with rapid economic growth and huge investments in human resource development in these regions.
The situation is very different in Sub-Saharan Africa, where poverty the ratio has actually risen from 41% in 1981 to 46% in 2001. Poverty has reappeared in some former socialist countries like Russia, where officially there was no poverty before.
The poverty ratio for India as per the World Bank standard appears higher than our national estimate of 26%. In the United Nations Millennium Summit held in September 2002 leaders from 189 countries signed a declaration pledging to reduce the number of people living below $1 a day to half of its 1990 figure by 2015.