South Asia has the most poor people (595 million), of which 455 million live in India. The poverty rate, however, has fallen from 60% to 40%.
China has been the country most successful in reducing poverty, with the numbers falling by more than 600 million, from 835 million in 1981 to 207 million in 2005.
The biggest part of that drop in the poverty rate in China is over the past 15 years, when China opened up to Western investment and its coastal regions boomed.
Meanwhile, the number of poor people in Africa doubled between 1981 and 2005 from 200 million to 380 million, and the depth of poverty is greater as well, with the average poor person living on just 70 cents per day.