Pick Up

848. Rising Cost-of-Living and Poverty in Asia-Pacific

Related Research Program


848. Rising Cost-of-Living and Poverty in Asia-Pacific

On August 24, the Asian Development Bank released a report highlighting the impact of last year's inflationary cost-of-living crisis, combined with the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These twin challenges have pushed an estimated 155.2 million people, or 3.9 percent of Asia and the Pacific's population, into extreme poverty, defined as living on less than US$2.15 a day when adjusted for inflation to 2017 prices. The report emphasizes that this figure would have been significantly lower - 67.8 million fewer people - had the pandemic and escalating cost of living not occurred.

Although the Asia-Pacific region has recovered well from the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising cost of living is undermining efforts to eradicate poverty. The poor are hit hardest by rising prices for basic necessities such as food and fuel, which prevent them from saving and investing in activities that can improve their long-term livelihoods, such as health care and education. Women, who work in jobs that often do not provide financial compensation, are particularly hard hit. In addition to having low incomes, the poor are often forced to buy goods and services in small quantities, which can be expensive in the long run. They are also forced to live in informal housing and are often exposed to health hazards.

While the Asia-Pacific region is expected to make progress in reducing poverty, projections indicate that by 2030, some 1.26 billion people, or 30.3 percent of the region's population, will be living precariously on a daily income of between $3.65 and $6.85.

The report issues a call to action, urging governments across the region to strengthen safety nets for the impoverished, promote agricultural development, facilitate access to financial services, and encourage investment in infrastructure, human development, and technological innovation. These measures are seen as essential to generating growth, creating employment opportunities, and improving the lives of the impoverished.


Asian Development Bank (2023) Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2023 https://www.adb.org/publications/key-indicators-asia-and-pacific-2023 

Contributor: IIYAMA Miyuki (Information Program)

Related Pages