Percentage of the World’s Denizens who Live on Less than $2/day

Using data from the United Nations’ Human Development Index, I put together this table of the thirty states in the world with the highest percentage of residents living on less than two dollars per day. After we have covered (international) political economy later this semester, you’ll know to ask whether the two dollar a day statistic is PPP-adjusted or not. The HDI rank is the Human Development Index rank (out of 177 countries ranked in 2007).

Using Country Watch (you can find a link to it at the course’s page at the library’s website, or click here), we see that Nigeria’s 2006 estimated (ethnic tensions in Africa’s most populous state prevent it from ever completing a census that is acceptable for all interested parties) population is approximately 132 million, meaning that fully 122 million persons in Nigeria survive on less than two dollars per day.

[UPDATE: “A world where some live in comfort and plenty, while half of the human race lives on less than $2 a day, is neither just nor stable. Including all of the world’s poor in a expanding circle of development–and opportunity–is a moral imperative and one of the top priorities of U.S. international policy.

-President George W. Bush, The National Security Strategy of the U.S.A. 2002]

Country

Below 2$/day (%)

HDI Rank

Nigeria

92.4

158

Tanzania (United Republic of)

89.9

159

Rwanda

87.8

161

Burundi

87.6

167

Zambia

87.2

165

Niger

85.8

174

Madagascar

85.1

143

Bangladesh

84

140

Central African Republic

84

171

Zimbabwe

83

151

Gambia

82.9

155

India

80.4

128

Nicaragua

79.9

110

Ghana

78.5

135

Haiti

78

146

Swaziland

77.8

141

Ethiopia

77.8

169

Cambodia

77.7

131

Sierra Leone

74.5

177

Lao P.D.R.

74.1

130

Mozambique

74.1

172

Benin

73.7

163

Pakistan

73.6

136

Mali

72.1

173

Burkina Faso

71.8

176

Nepal

68.5

142

Mauritania

63.1

137

Malawi

62.9

164

Kenya

58.3

148

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