Global MPI 2023

This year’s report Unstacking global poverty: Data for high-impact action, produced in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Report Office (UNDP HDRO), presents a compact update on the state of the world’s multidimensional poverty. It compiles data across 110 developing countries covering 6.1 billion people and accounting for 92% of the population in developing countries. It tells us an important and persistent story about how prevalent poverty is in the world, and provides insights into the lives of the poor, their deprivations and how intense their poverty is – to inform and accelerate efforts to end poverty in all its forms. As few countries, still, have post-pandemic data, the report also calls insistently for updated multidimensional poverty data. While the report provides a sobering annual stock take of global poverty, it also highlights examples of success in every region.

Download the Global MPI 2023 report: Unstacking global poverty Data for high-impact action

Key findings

Where do poor people live?

  • Across 110 countries 1.1 billion out of 6.1 billion people are poor – just over 18% are estimated to live in acute multidimensional poverty.
  • 534 million out of 1.1 billion poor people – half of all poor people – live in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Over a third of all poor people live in South Asia – that’s 389 million people.
  • 730 million – nearly two-thirds of all poor people – live in middle-income countries. Low-income countries are home to over one-third of all poor people – 387 million.

Who are the poorest?

  • The higher the incidence of poverty, the higher the intensity of poverty that poor people experience.
  • 485 million poor people live in severe poverty across 110 countries, experiencing 50–100% of weighted deprivations.
  • 99 million poor people experience deprivations in all three dimensions (70–100% of weighted deprivations).
  • 10 million of the 12 million poor people with the highest deprivation scores (90–100%) live in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Which groups are the poorest?

  • Subnational regions are being left behind in two ways: where poverty is widespread, poverty is also most intense.
  • Half of the 1.1 billion poor people (566 million) are children under 18 years of age.
  • 84% of all poor people live in rural areas. Rural areas are poorer than urban areas in every world region.

What deprivations do poor people face?

  • 824–991 million out of the 1.1 billion poor people do not have adequate sanitation, housing or cooking fuel.
  • 600 million poor people live with a person who is undernourished in their household.
  • Gaps in years of schooling are a cross regional issue: In all regions except Europe and Central Asia, around half of poor people do not have a single member of their household who has completed six years of schooling.

How do monetary and multidimensional poverty compare?

  • In 42 of 61 countries more people live in multidimensional poverty, based on the global MPI, than in extreme monetary poverty according to the World Bank’s $2.15 a day measure.

How has poverty changed?

  • 72 of 81 countries, covering well over 5 billion peo­ple, experienced a significant absolute reduction in MPI value during at least one period. But nearly all data are from before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 25 countries halved their global MPI value well within 15 years, showing that progress at scale is attainable.
  • In 42 countries—over half of those covered—chil­dren are being left behind.
  • In 15 countries, the rate of poverty reduction was outpaced by population growth: The number of poor people increased despite poverty rates declining.
  • Cambodia halved its MPI in 7.5 years (2014–2021/2022), including during the COVID-19 pandemic years despite increases in deprivations in school attendance.

Further resources

OPHI gratefully acknowledges support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) for the update.