DEFINITION of 'International Poverty Line'

An international monetary threshold under which an individual is considered to be living in poverty. It is calculated by taking the poverty threshold from each country - given the value of the goods needed to sustain one adult - and converting it to dollars. The international poverty line was originally set to roughly $1 a day. When purchasing power parity and all goods consumed are considered in the calculation of the line, it allows organizations to determine which populations are considered to be in absolute poverty.

BREAKING DOWN 'International Poverty Line'

Using the international poverty line to determine how well off a population is can be misleading, as the line can be low enough that adding a small amount of additional income will not create an appreciable difference in a person's quality of life. In addition, it can be difficult to quantify other indicators, such as education and health, thus masking the total economic impact on a population.

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