New multidimensional measure of extreme poverty and vulnerability proposed in Chile

An Expert Commission convened by the President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera, to review the way poverty is measured, has presented it final proposals.

Alongside suggestions as to how the current income poverty measure could be improved, the Commission also recommended that the President introduce a new multidimensional measure of vulnerability and extreme poverty to better capture the full reality of poverty in a high-income context.

The new measure divides households into four groups: the extremely poor; the poor; the vulnerable; and those who are neither poor nor vulnerable. The new category of vulnerability is designed to capture those people whose income is precarious (even if above the income poverty line), and people who are not income poor, but who are deprived in other important aspects of poverty, such as health, education and housing.

The multidimensional measure is based on the Alkire Foster method and has five dimensions: education; health; employment and social security; housing; and the community, environment and security.

The new measure is intended to complement the existing income poverty line by providing additional information for policymakers about the complex and diverse situations facing Chile’s population. Detailed information is available on the Government of Chile’s website.