This chapter discusses differences among regions and the long run trends in rural poverty, and specifically the “great escape” from poverty that comes from the structural transformation out of agriculture into more diverse activities that comes with urbanization as mortality rates fall, and then fertility and birth rates fall and population growth rate declines, while in the meantime, the rural population growth rate rises. These rural population growth rates vary greatly globally, but the trend is slow growth, new workers in non-farm jobs, and farming population rates falling, so that farmers take over greater plots of land and approach the structural transformation turning point when rural population density reaches its peak, well after urbanization begins. The world will reach peak rural in the 2020s, and with the accompanying mechanization and rural intensification will come the escape out of poverty, which can be measured by indicators such as child stunting. The link between demographics and sustainable agriculture are incredibly important for poverty reduction.
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