A history of global living conditions: Poverty

A history of global living conditions: Poverty, by Max Roser.

Take a longer perspective and it becomes very clear that the world is not static at all. The countries that are rich today were very poor just very recently and were in fact worse off than the poor countries today. …

Researchers measure extreme poverty as living with less than 1.90$ per day. These poverty figures take into account non-monetary forms of income – for poor families today and in the past this is very important, particularly because of subsistence farming. The poverty measure is also corrected for different price levels in different countries and adjusted for price changes over time (inflation) – poverty is measured in so-called international dollar that accounts for these adjustments. …

The ingenuity of those that built the technology that increased productivity – the car, the machinery, and communication technology – made some of them very rich and at the same time it increased the productivity and the incomes of others. It is hard to overstate how different life in zero-sum and a positive-sum economy are.


See the link for four more charts.

hat-tip Matthew