For the past 35 years, a growing number of countries in East Asia have persistently recorded some of the highest rates of economic growth in the world. This growth was accompanied by improvements in a number of social indicators, suggesting that social welfare was rising throughout the region. Nevertheless, recent developments and the availability of new distributional data require that the issues of poverty and inequality in East Asia and the Pacific be revisited. This report undertakes a comprehensive assessment of the situation in the region and a more detailed look at particular issues. There are two fundamental motivations behind the study. First, poverty remains a central concern in this region, with about a third of the world's poor living in East Asia in the mid-1990s. The second motivation is the region's growing concern with inequality, which is on the rise most notably in China, Thailand, Hong Kong (China), and Taiwan (China). The authors show that East Asia's past success should not make the world assume that development in the region is a finished task. The report includes a case study of Thailand between 1975 and 1992.