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  • Updated: February 18, 2021

FACT CHECK: Nigeria, Still The Poverty Capital Of The World

FACT CHECK: Nigeria, Still The Poverty Capital Of The World

CLAIM: Nigeria, not the poverty capital of the world (Lauretta Onochie, February 2021)

Conclusion: Nigeria still harbours 12.6 percent of the world's population of people living in extreme poverty adding up to 89, 822, 903.

Full Text

The Media Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie on February 8,  shared a tweet with a link and picture to celebrate the Buhari-led administration's effort in lifting Nigerians out of poverty.



She said: “We are not where we ought to be but we are not where we used to be. More Nigerians have been pulled out of poverty.”



The link attached to the tweet is an article titled; “Poverty Rate by Country 2021” on a site named; World Population Review.


The article featured links to sources of its data  the World Bank DataBank and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).


The World Bank data on Poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (in % of the population) which was used in the article was last updated in 2018 and it revealed that Nigeria's poverty rate in 2018 was 40.1 percent. OECD data featured in the article did not include Nigeria. It was last updated in 2019.


Further research on the World Poverty Clock puts the population of Nigerians living in extreme poverty in 2021 at 89, 822, 903. This figure positions the country as the poverty capital of the world, accounting for 12.6 percent of the world's poorest people.

The percentage of world's poorest people living in Nigeria


The figure is ahead of India's 12.2 percent totalling 86,799,498 people and Democratic Republic of Congo's 9.4 percent summing up to 67,214,502 people.


READ MORE: Sani Knocks Osinbajo Over Poverty alleviation Plans


When the poverty population is compared to the total population in the country on a percentage level, Nigeria has 42 percent of her population living in extreme poverty. The Nigerian figure is lower than South Sudan's with 84.8 percent, the Central African Republic's with 78.8 percent and Madagascar's with 77.4 percent of their population living in extreme poverty.


However, if the percentages are converted to real population, the figure is lower than that of Nigeria.


If the population of the three countries topping the chart -- in percentage -- of people living in extreme poverty are added up and compared to Nigeria's real population of people living in extreme poverty, the countries still do not meet up with Nigeria.



Population in poverty

South Sudan

12,169, 916

Central African Republic





37, 933, 424


89, 822, 903





Onochie's claim is not correct. Nigeria is still the poverty capital of the world.

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