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At the very end of February, the World Bank reported that both the number of people living in extreme poverty and the poverty rate itself declined in every region of the developing world during 2005-2008. The data released by the World Bank’s Development Research Group showed that “22% of the developing world’s population – or 1.29 billion people – lived on $1.25 or less a day in 2008, down from 43% in 1990 and 52% in 1981.” The new numbers were greeted, however, with caution and some degree of skepticism. While the estimate of the number of people below the severe poverty line ($1.25 a day) has fallen, the number of people living just above the line has soared. According to the Bank, 1.18 billion people lived on between $1.25 and $2.00 per day in 2008 compared to only 648 million in 1981. The total number of people living on $2.00 a day has changed very little over the past few decades: 2.47 billion in 2008 compared to 2.59 billion in 1981. In reviewing the report, the Population Institute welcomed the signs of progress, but recommended that more resources be devoted to measuring poverty and ensuring that gains in reducing poverty are sustainable.