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Last week, the World Bank told us that China and India are actually much richer than we thought, because of new data comparing prices across countries. The details are a bit complicated, and our own Matt Yglesias has a great explanation here. The report didn't say anything explicitly about what the new data means for world poverty, but luckily a team at the Center for Global Development — Sarah Dykstra, Charles Kenny (who you may remember from Ezra Klein's interview with him in March), and Justin Sandefur — did the math and found something striking.
The bank's new numbers don't just suggest there's less poverty that we thought. They suggest the absolute poverty rate — the share of people living on less than $1.25 a day — in 2010 was nearly half what we thought it was.