On average, 45 to 50 percent of sub-Saharan Africans live below the poverty line. An estimated 40 percent lived on less than a dollar (US) a day. Also, the depth of poverty, that is, how far incomes fall below the poverty line, is greater in SSA than anywhere else in the world.

Beyond low income, a principal indicator of poverty is inadequate access to social services. Currently, the availability of social services in most SSA countries is the lowest in the world.

The average gross primary school enrolment rate, is currently only about 67 percent compared with 94 percent for South Asia and about 88 percent globally. ┬áHealth services are falling behind demand in most countries in SSA. This is reflected in an average infant mortality rate of 93 per 1,000, which is higher than South Asia’s 84 per 1,000, Latin America’s 46 per 1,000 and East Asia’s 36 per 1,000.