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People on degraded land cut off from economic growth. Does Land Degradation Increase Poverty in Developing Countries?

We improve upon existing literature by estimating the extent of rural populations in 2000 and 2010 globally on degrading and improving agricultural land, taking into account the role of market access, and analyzing the resulting impacts on poverty.

Using a variety of spatially referenced datasets, the scientists estimated: that 1.33 billion people worldwide in 2000 were located on degrading agricultural land (DAL), of which 1.26 billion were in developing countries.

Almost all the world’s 200 million people on remote DAL were in developing countries, which is about 6% of their rural population.

There were also 1.54 billion rural people on improving agricultural land (IAL), with 1.34 billion in developing countries.

This is an abstract from the paper, published in PLOS One which found that the ability of economic expansion to reduce overall poverty fell significantly in many nations between 2000 and 2010 as the amount of degraded agricultural land rose.