Ending extreme poverty is one of the United Nation’s 8 Millennium Development Goals; a goal hoped to be reached by 2015. In this study I attempt to determine the factors most influential on a country’s poverty level. I observe 10 of the 12 countries in South America over 3 time periods, 1998, 2003, and 2005, making 30 total observations of panel data. Variables that correlated positively in my model with poverty were population growth and the age dependency ratio. Variables that correlated negatively in my model with poverty were health expenditure, trade, government effectiveness and GDP growth rate. The most influential variables I found to be population growth and government effectiveness.
Includes bibliographical references.