World Poverty Quiz

1. What percentage of the world's population lives in absolute poverty? (Absolute poverty is defined as a level of poverty in which minimum requirements for living—such as adequate food and shelter—cannot be met. This percentage of people live on less than $1/day.)

Yes, As unbelievable as it might seem, one in four people in the world lives in absolute poverty.

2. The total population in developing countries as of 2000 was 5.2 billion. Of this, how many people live on less than $2 a day?

2.8 billion is the number of people living on less than $2 a day in developing countries.

3. Out of the world's population living in extreme poverty (less than $2/day) how many are women?

Yes, almost 3/4 of the poor people in the world are women. Why is this?

4. How much of the land in the world is owned by women?

Right, women own and control only 1% of the land on this earth. However, women produce of most of the food consumed by populations in developing nations and have primary responsibility for the welfare and health of children. According to development experts, the economic and political empowerment of women are key to alleviating the hardships of poverty and inequality across the globe.

5. In 1960, 24 percent of developing countries' population lived in cities. What was the percentage in 2000?

In 2000, 41 percent of developing countries' population lived in cities. As people move off the land or are displaced by corporate farming, they migrate to cities where, with little education and literacy, they have a difficult time being integrated into an urban economic structure.

6. Life expectancy in the developing world increased from 60 years in 1980 to 64 years in 2000. In 1980, life expectancy in Botswana was 58 years; what is the figure for 2000?

Life expectancy in Botswana and many other countries in the developing world has actually decreased in the past 25 years, mostly because of the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

7. In which country do 1 out of 4 children live in poverty?

The United States is certainly not in the developing world, yet a great proportion of our children live in poverty. Why is that? Despite having the highest national income among major economically advanced countries, the real child poverty rate in the United States ( 20.6%) is among the highest. Finland ( 4.2%), Sweden ( 4.0%), Austria ( 6.2%), and Denmark ( 2.7%), among others, have low child poverty rates.
Source: Society at a Glance 2009. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

8. In 1960 the richest 20% of the world's population had more than 30 times the income of the poorest 20%. What was this ratio of the top 20% of the rich to the bottom 20 % of the poor in 1995?

Yes. As they say, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Why is this?

9. The world's richest 15 people have incomes equal to the entire Gross Domestic Product of which regions or countries?

The world's richest 15 people have incomes equal to the GDP of all 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

10. Which industrialized country is the highest contributor per capita providing overseas aid?

Denmark is the highest contributor with $331 per person. Norway, which has the highest Human Development Index (HDI), donates $298 while Japan donates $106. Sadly, the United States, one of the most influential countries in the world with the 6th highest HDI donates only $33 per person. While these $ figures may have changed in recent years, the United States hovers at #18 in terms of world aid.


Thank you to Professor Eimad Houry for creating this quiz.