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WDR 2014 Charts: Vulnerability to poverty

WDR 2014, Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development


Many people around the world are poor or live very close to poverty; they are vulnerable to falling deeper into poverty when they are hit by negative shocks

It is often the poor who are hit the hardest. Despite impressive progress in reducing poverty in the past three decades, a substantial proportion of people in developing countries remain poor and are vulnerable to falling into deeper poverty when they are struck by negative shocks. The mortality rate from illness and injury for adults under age 60 is two and a half times higher for men and four times higher for women in low-income countries than in high income countries, while the rate for children under age five is almost twenty times higher.

Mounting evidence shows that adverse shocks — above all, health and weather shocks and economic crises — play a major role in pushing households below the poverty line and keeping them there. Moreover, realizing that a negative shock can push them into destitution, bankruptcy, or crisis, poor people may stick with technologies and livelihoods that appear relatively safe but are also stagnant.

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