A new study into global poverty shows a significant shift in the distribution of poverty amongst nations with three-quarters of the world's poor in the period 2007-08 accounted for by countries with a middle-income status. This demographic shift compares with the fact that at the start of the 1990s 93 per cent of the world's poor lived in low-income countries.
According to Andy Sumner, an economist from the UK-based Institute of Development Studies, the poorest people in the world are now living more and more in countries that the World Bank has classified as middle income countries.
India is one of the major reasons for this dramatic shift.
According to Sumner's paper "The New Bottom Billion", by 2007 the average per capita income in India went up just enough to make India a middle-income country. India's poor thus shifted from the low-income countries bracket to that of middle-income countries.
This contrasted with the fact that the number of poor people throughout India actually increased - from approximately 435 million in 1990, to approximately 456 million in 2005. This uneven distribution of wealth becomes evident from the international poverty figures released by the World Bank in 2008.
India now is considered to have the largest proportion of poor people in the world as other countries, most notably China, have done a better job at reducing poverty than India.