The global Multidimensional Poverty Index(MPI) produced by the United Nations Development Program(UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative measures poverty by considering various deprivations experienced by people in their daily lives, including poor health, insufficient education and a low standard of living.
Today’s report examines the level and composition of multidimensional poverty across 109 countries covering 5.9 billion people and presents an ethnicity/race/castle disaggregation for 41 countries with available information.
What does multidimensional poverty measure?.
Poverty is commonly measured by income. The ‘International Poverty Lines’ counts people living on less than $ 1.9 a day(in Purchasing Power Parity terms) as poor.
This one-dimensional approach misses the point that in real life poverty is ‘multi-dimensional’-that is, multiple factors can trap a person in poverty. For example, a severely malnourished person who is illiterate and lives in an unhygienic shanty without electricity and tap water is far poorer than someone with the same income but good health and some formal education.
To pull the first persons out of poverty, the government will need to provide multidimensional help-subsidized food, education, electricity, water, etc.
Focusing on increasing income alone will not be enough.
Worldwide, across 109 countries and 5.9 billion people:
- 1.3 billion people are multidimensional poor.
- About half(644 million) are children under age 18.
- Nearly 85% live in Sub-Saharan Africa(556 million) or South Asia(532 million).
- More than 67% live in middle-income countries.
But what is the day-to-day reality of life for multidimensionally poor people? :
- 1 billion each are exposed to solid cooking fuels, inadequate sanitation and substandard housing.
- 788 million live in a household with at least one undernourished person.
- 568 million lack improved drinking water within a 30-minute roundtrip walk.