The graph below shows 15 countries that experienced the largest annual average percentage point declines in extreme poverty rate between about 2000 and 2015, out of the 114 countries for which we can measure poverty in a comparable way over this period, according to World Bank.
In each of these countries, an average of at least 1.6% of the population moved out of extreme poverty every year. This meant 802.1 million fewer people were living in extreme poverty in these 15 countries between 2000 and 2015. For example, between 2000 and 2011, the extreme poverty rate fell by 36.9 percentage points in Tanzania, from 86.0% to 49.1%, for an annual average rate of reduction of 3.2 percentage points, which led to a reduction of 5.3 million in the number of Tanzanians living in extreme poverty. Tajikistan, Chad, and the Republic of Congo had average reductions in poverty of around 3 percentage points per year.
While extreme poverty remains endemic in low-income and conflict-affected countries, many of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is cause for optimism even in these countries. Seven of the top 15 countries are in Africa, and two are on the World Bank Group’s Harmonized List of Fragile Situations for FY19.
Some of the 15 countries (China, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Vietnam) effectively eliminated extreme poverty by 2015. In others (e.g. India), low rates of extreme poverty in 2015 still translated to millions of people living in deprivation. In some of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (e.g. Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Burkina Faso), extreme poverty rates, even after rapid reduction, remain above 40%.