Nigeria Ends 2018 with 90.8 Million People Living in Extreme Poverty

Nigeria continues to cement its status as the poverty capital of the world as more people continue to slip into extreme poverty.

Nigeria Ends 2018 with 90.8 Million People Living in Extreme Poverty

An estimated 90.8 million Nigerians are living in extreme poverty as 2018 winds down to a close.

It was first revealed in June 2018 that Nigeria had overtaken India as the nation with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty across the world, with an estimated 86.9 million people measured to be living on less than $1.25 (N381.25) a day.

The outlook for poverty alleviation in Nigeria is currently weak. Today extreme poverty in the country is increasing by nearly six people every minute. If current trends persist, we expect this poverty “escape rate” to improve modestly over the next decade, to approximately 3 people every minute. – World poverty clock

According to available data courtesy of the World Poverty Clock, a web tool produced by World Data Lab, that number has increased by nearly four million more Nigerians in just six months.

This is despite the fact that the estimated 643.5 million people living in extreme poverty all over the world has dropped to 592.7 million in the same period.

As of the time of this report, the 90.8 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty constituted a staggering 46.4% of its estimated 195.6 million total population.

This has risen from the 44.2% of the total population that was recorded in June.

More Nigerians have slipped into extreme poverty since June 2018 [World Poverty Clock]

Despite the rise, Nigeria’s escape rate has improved from -5.8 people per minute in June to -4.5 people per minute in December. However, this falls terribly short of the escape rate target of 14.4 people per minute in Nigeria.

World Poverty Clock

World Poverty Clock provides real-time poverty estimates until 2030 for almost every country in the world, monitoring progress against ending extreme poverty which is the United Nation’s first sustainable development goal.

According to its methodology, the World Poverty Clock uses publicly available data on income distribution, production, and consumption, provided by various international organizations, most notably the UN, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

These organizations compile data provided to them by governments in each country. In the few cases when governments fail to provide data, the agency uses models to estimate poverty in affected countries. The agency’s data covers 99.7% of the world’s population.

For Nigeria, the general household survey (GHS) from 2012/2013 is used, rather than the harmonised Nigeria living standards survey, because it is more recent and believed to be of higher quality.

The agency notes that the challenges of estimating poverty in Nigeria stem from the fact that Nigeria is not a homogeneous country, especially with distinct differences in economic conditions between the south and the north. National averages conceal these differences and surveys are not sufficiently representative at the state level to draw firm conclusions.

The agency believes poverty has fallen over time along with economic growth in southern states, while it has been more stubborn in northern states but the differences cannot be factored into national level calculations.

Civil unrest and conflict in selected northern areas where terrorist group, Boko Haram, has been active is believed to contribute to the negative impact on poverty, even though there is insufficient data to quantify it.

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


  1. […] 2018, Nigeria Overtook India as the world capital of poverty.. Currently Nigeria has the highest number of people living in extreme poverty, over 90 million […]


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