Amain feature of Asia’s success story has been the remarkable social transformation and poverty reduction that accompanied rapid economic growth in the region. Some three decades ago, more than half the region was poor, only two of five adults were literate, and the average person could hope to live only 48 years. At present, the proportion of poor people is down to one third, 70 percent of adults are literate, and life expectancy has risen to 68 years. And while the region’s population has increased from 1.8 billion to 3.0 billion, the number of poor people has dropped from more than 1 billion to less than 900 million.


Social Capital Income Inequality Poverty Reduction Rapid Economic Growth Asian Development Bank 
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© Asian Development Bank 2003

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