Geographies in Depth

Only 1.7% of Africans expected to live in extreme poverty by 2065, experts predict

Students at a school in Africa.

Extreme poverty in Africa is projected to fall rapidly in the next 40 years while educational attainment is expected to rise. Image: Unsplash/Emmanuel Ikwuegbu

Martin Armstrong
Data Journalist, Statista
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SDG 01: No Poverty

  • Extreme poverty in Africa has only edged down in recent decades.
  • It affected 46 percent of the population in 1996-2005 and is projected to impact 35 percent in 2016-2025, the African Union Development Agency says.
  • However, there is expected to be huge progress to just 1.7 percent in the next 40 years.
  • This is because of improving health and social conditions, which are also boosting life expectancy.

African Union Development Agency projections show that, while the share of people in Africa living in extreme poverty has not seen a great deal of downward movement over the last few decades (46 percent in the period 1996-2005 to a projected 35 percent in 2016-2025), progress is expected to be around the corner.

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What is the World Economic Forum on Africa?

As this infographic shows, while this major step forward in living standards on the continent will come too late for many, the African Union Development Agency expects the share living in extreme poverty to drop down to as little as 1.7 percent by 2056-65. The next few decades promise to be ones of great progress for Africa as a whole. Mariam Saleh, Statista's Research Expert for North Africa, writes: "The continent's socio-demographics will experience a significant development, including considerable population growth. Moreover, improving health and social conditions will determine lower poverty levels as well as an increase in life expectancy." In addition, the source projects great improvements in educational attainment over the assessed period.

A chart showing the projected share of population in Africa living in extreme poverty from 1996 to 2065
The share of extreme poverty in Africa seems to be following a downward trend Image: Statista/African Union Development Agency
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Geographies in DepthEconomic Growth
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