Consequences of poverty

1 in 9 people are undernnourished globally. lack of education leads to unemployment and low income. Worldwide the poorest children are two times more likely to die in childhood.


The consequences of poverty are often fatal, the most immediate is not having enough nutritious food to eat. Around 850 million people, 15.5% of the world’s population are malnourished.

Hunger and the risk of famine remain very high in sub-Saharan Africa and in Southern Asia outside of India.

Despite the reductions in poverty, there have been no signs of improvement in undernourishment rates in Eastern Asia since 2000. Nearly one child in five under the age of five in the developing world is underweight.

Poor housing

Due to rapid urbanisation, 863 million people are now estimated to be living in slums compared to 760 million in 2000 and 650 million in 1990.

Of the world's population, 11% or 783 million people remain without access to clean drinking water.

Rocinha, one of the largest favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rocinha, one of the largest favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

One point one billion people or 15% of the world’s population have no sanitation facilities at all. In India 626 million people, in China 14 million and 7 million people in Brazil have no inside toilet facilities.

Lack of education

Children from the poorest households are three times as likely to be out of school as those from the richest households. Those who miss out on education are often unable to read or write, restricting their options in life and making it extremely difficult to escape poverty.

In 2010, globally there were 122 million people aged between 15 and 24 years of age who were unable to write. That's 74 million women and 48 million men.

The vast majority of these young adults live in Southern Asia (62 million) and sub-Saharan Africa (45 million).

Poor health

Across the world fewer people are becoming infected with HIV, although those in the poorest areas are most likely to contract the virus.

More than two-thirds (70%) of all people living with HIV, 24.7 million live in sub-Saharan Africa - including 91% of the world's HIV-positive children. In 2013, an estimated 1.5 million people in the region became newly infected. An estimated 1.1 million adults and children died of AIDS, accounting for 73% of the world's AIDS deaths in 2013.(Statistics -

Children born into poverty are almost twice as likely to die before the age of five as those from wealthier families.