The share of poor people in the global population has declined in recent decades. One-third of the population of the world lived in poverty in 1981, whereas the share decreased to 18 percent in 2001. The decline is largely due to rapid economic growth in population-rich countries like China and India. There are, however, remarkable differences between countries and between regions in the developing world. Some regions and countries, notably those in East Asia, are rapidly catching up to industrialized countries. Others, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are lagging far behind, while the number of poor people has increased in some countries. Industrial development has had an important role in the economic growth of countries like China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Along with accelerated growth, ...

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