Main findings from OPHI working paper included in report on poverty and inequality in Latin America

Findings from ‘A Multidimensional Poverty Index for Latin America’ – published as an OPHI working paper – have been included in the first chapter of ‘Social Panorama of Latin America 2014’, a report released by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) last week.

Chapter one of the report explores achievements and challenges in fighting poverty in Latin America, presenting an analysis of both income and multidimensional poverty. It sets out the working paper’s findings from a multidimensional index of poverty (MPI) for 17 Latin American countries, which was calculated jointly by ECLAC and OPHI.

The MPI for Latin America is composed of thirteen indicators of poverty grouped into five dimensions: housing, basic services, living standards, education, and employment and social protection. Results from the MPI revealed that that approximately 28 per cent of the region’s population was living in multidimensional poverty, with highest levels in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, and lowest levels in Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay.

The report emphasises that poverty manifests in multiple dimensions, beyond income. It highlights that the MPI shows variation in the form and intensity of poverty between counties – a finding that it recommends must be taken into account for effective policymaking to combat poverty.

Further information

Social Panorama of Latin America 2014 was published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in January 2015.

A Multidimensional Poverty Index for Latin America’, by Maria Emma Santos, Pablo Villatoro, Xavier Mancero and Pascual Gerstenfeld was published in the OPHI working paper series in January 2015.