Chart: Poorest Nations Getting Richer, But Also Less Stable

The Brookings Institute shows that the poor are far from out of the woods

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Here's the good news from the Brookings Institute: global poverty of the $1.25 a day or less variety has been on retreat--over half a billion people have made it out of such poverty in the developing world since 2005. Now the bad news: poverty is increasingly concentrated not in low-income, poorly-developed countries as was previously the case, but increasingly in middle-income and less-stable countries.

That means the standing ideology of world financial types regarding poverty is due for a major paradigm shift, according to Brookings. "Fragile middle-income countries," not low-income countries, turn out to be "of critical importance to global poverty reduction," the report says, noting that old methods of financial development and technological engagement are ineffective for this demographic group. The traditional idea that increasing a country's income inevitably increases a country's stability, is also challenged: the number of "fragile" countries without strong or effective governments have been on the increase. Many of the countries tracked in the chart, seen as an interactive graphic on the Brookings site, got richer, but also less stable.

The chart below represents the data for 2005. Notice the shift compared to the chart above, from 2010. Countries increasingly have moved down the x-axis towards higher incomes, while increasingly rising up the y-axis and becoming less stable. For you World Bank types, you can play around with the chart yourself here.

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