World hunger expected to slowly decline over coming decade

The number of people living without enough to eat has been increasing over the past few years, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed worldwide levels of hunger to their highest in a decade. But a new model by the World Data Lab predicts that after 2021, the number of people with moderate and severe food insecurity will begin to slowly decline.

The scientific team behind the model, which includes Matthew Cooper, a data science postdoctoral fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, used a metric called the Food Insecurity Experience Scale, which measures a range of lived experiences of hunger, including skipped meals and worries about not having enough to eat.

Their model’s forecast, which is displayed in the World Data Lab’s World Hunger Clock, anticipates continued improvement in East Asia, where development is pulling more people out of poverty. Alternately, in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of food-insecure people is expected to continue rising, as population growth outpaces improvements in food security.

Read an October 22, 2020 blog post by the team on the Brookings website: Are we on track to end global hunger?