We also examined whether some of the decline in poorest clients being served is due to markets becoming saturated, with future growth limited because of fewer clients left to reach. The charts in figure 4 show, for each region, how much of the adult population lives on less than US$1.90 a day and what percentage of them are microfinance borrowers.
Figure 4: Microfinance Outreach in Adult Populations by Region
We also examined the market for microfinance borrowers by countries with the highest numbers of clients relative to their population. Of these, only one—Bangladesh—appears to be approaching saturation. Other populous countries still show that large percentages of their poorest people do not have access to financial services, although some cities or states within these countries may be closer to saturation.
Countries with high population densities and lower GDP per capita, which defines much of Asia, have much higher proportions of their populations living under $1.90 a day with access to microfinance loans. In Latin America and the Caribbean, and Middle East and North Africa regions, those living on less than $1.90 a day make up a much smaller proportion of the population. Sub-Saharan Africa still has a large proportion of people living on less than $1.90 a day, but low population density and higher operating costs make it difficult for MFIs to reach these clients cost-effectively.
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Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Where’s the Map?
- Global Data Show Diverging Paths
- Integrated Health and Microfinance
- Saving Groups
- Graduation Programs
- Agricultural Value Chains
- Conditional Cash-Transfer Programs
- Digital Finance
- Read the Full Report
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