No country has a 0 % poverty rate, but the following 16 countries with the lowest poverty rates in the world in 2017 come close to that ideal.
Poverty has always been an issue, regardless of the given historical and social context. It is just a matter of fact. At any given point in time, you could distinguish between different classes of society. Some have it better than others. It is not just a matter of pure luck, of being born to a right family and in the right place but it is also a matter of human nature. The issue of poverty is not unsolvable. There is an old saying in my home country which says that the problem is not to feed the poor, but to feed the rich. No wonder the saying dates back in time as its message is pretty much universal. Greed is inherent to the human nature. Perhaps that is more visible now than ever before, as the current setup makes it possible for one group of people to completely dominate over another. That is why there are such huge disparities in wealth worldwide. Just to illustrate, the United Nations estimated that it would take $30 billion a year to solve the problem of world hunger. At first this might seem like a huge amount of money, however, if we put things into a perspective, it becomes clear that the only thing lacking to eradicate world hunger is not money, but will. The National Retail Federation has estimated that consumers in the United States alone spend around $680 billion during Christmas season. It has been estimated that since 9/11 the US government has spent $5.6 trillion on wars. $30 billion a year seems like an insignificant amount of money if we take into consideration these figures. To emphasize, this is the data concerning only the USA. I imagine the perspective on how much money $30 billion a year, in fact, is would be much different if we were to consider spending made by other developed countries.
This is not the first time I have chosen to write about poverty on Insider Monkey. The last article I wrote was about countries with the highest poverty rates in the world in 2017. Not surprisingly, most of the countries which made it to the list were those located in Africa. So, in this article, you can read about top 20 poorest countries in the world, as well as 10 poorest countries in Africa. Furthermore, all of the countries which were on the list of top 10 poorest countries in the world in 2016 have also made it to the list of the poorest countries in 2017. South Sudan was placed at the top of the list, followed by Haiti and Ethiopia. Some of the countries which were also listed as being among the poorest are Afghanistan, Burundi, Chad, Nigeria, and Yemen. If poverty rates by country in 2016 are to be considered, it is clear there is not much improvement in 2017, which is unfortunate, to say the least. Moreover, if we decide to look into the data on poverty rates from some years back, it is evident that the same countries appear on the ranking of top 100 poorest countries in the world year after year. It goes to show that global poverty rate is not a priority on an agenda of those in power. As I have already stated in the introductory paragraph, there are means to solve the issue, what the world lacks is the will and determination to effectively use those means. In the meantime, what you and I as average persons can do is to continually point to the issue, hoping that someday the message will be clearly heard by those in decision making structures and start an avalanche.
100 richest countries in the world stand in stark contrast to 100 poorest countries in the world. In my article on top 25 richest, healthiest and most advanced countries in the world, I have listed countries which, because they dominate the list of the richest countries in the world, have most influence and power on the global political scene. Switzerland was the first on the list, followed by the USA on 2nd and Norway on 3rd place. Other Scandinavian countries were also among top 25, alongside several countries from the Southeast of Asia. The chances are that many of the countries which were on the list of top 25 richest, healthiest and most advanced will also be on the list of top countries with the lowest poverty rates. What is left to see is what country has the lowest poverty rate in the world.
In order to create the list of 16 countries with the lowest poverty rates in the world in 2017, I have referred to a number of relevant sources. My primary sources of information were Human Development Reports (HDR) provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The first report ranks countries based on the values of Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). The MPI is calculated “based on data on deprivations in education, health, and living standards”, as explained in the report. The second report ranks countries based on the values of Human Development Index (HDI). I should note that the data presented in the reports is not concerning 2017. However, it is the latest available. There is no data available concerning 2017. Where available I have also looked into the data on poverty rates provided by official government institutions.
The last spot on our list of countries with the lowest poverty rates belongs to the Netherlands. The latest data shows that one in seven people in the Netherlands lives below poverty line. That amounts to 14% of its population.