Facts and Figures

Poor people are significantly more vulnerable to disasters

  • In poor countries where annual GDP per capita is below USD 760, the cost of disasters as a share of GDP is as high as 14 percent. In rich countries (i.e. GDP per capita > USD 9,361), this rate is around 4 percent.
  • Approximately 75% of people residing in low-lying areas are in Asia, with the most vulnerable being poor people.
  • Today, there are an estimated 192 million migrants worldwide, up from 176 million in 2000. Coastal areas, with 18 of the world’s 27 megacities (populations of 10 million or greater), are thought to face the largest migration pressures.
  • Approximately 75% of people residing in low-lying areas are in Asia, with the most vulnerable being poor people. The net implication of these demographic processes is clear; the world will have substantially more people in vulnerable urban and coastal areas in the next 20 years.

Related themes: Human Settlements; Uncertainty and Risk 

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