HomeInternational Rice Research Notesvol. 25 no. 2 (2000)

Are urban poverty and undernutrition growing? Some newly assembled evidence

Haddad L | Ruel Mt | Garrett Jl.

Discipline: Agriculture, Socioeconomics



Urbanization is a well-known phenomenon, and by 2025, more than half of Asia's population will reside in urban areas. Does this trend indicate a shift in the locus of poverty? The authors investigate this issue by assembling survey data on poverty from eight countries (including Bangladesh, China, India, and Indonesia) and on child undernutrition from 14 countries (including Bangladesh, China, and the Philippines). Although the number of rural poor is larger than the number of urban poor, this study finds that the absolute number of urban poor is increasing, as is the share of overall poverty and undernourishment coming from urban areas. For example, in India, the percentage of poor people livingin urban areas increased from 19% in 1978 to 23% in 1994. As a result of data such as these, and the fact that little research is done on urban poverty, the authors argue that more research needs to be done on alleviation of poverty in urban areas.