Global Multidimensional Poverty Index

What is the global MPI?

The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute multidimensional poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional monetary-based poverty measures by capturing the acute deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards.

DIMENSIONS OF POVERTY INDICATOR DEPRIVED IF LIVING IN THE HOUSEHOLD WHERE… WEIGHT
Health Nutrition An adult under 70 years of age or a child is undernourished. 1/6
Child mortality Any child under the age of 18 years has died in the five years preceding the survey. 1/6
Education Years of schooling No household member aged 10 years or older has completed six years of schooling. 1/6
School attendance Any school-aged child is not attending school up to the age at which he/she would complete class 8. 1/6
Standard
of living
Cooking fuel The household cooks with dung, wood, charcoal or coal. 1/18
Sanitation The household’s sanitation facility is not improved (according to SDG guidelines) or it is improved but shared with other households. 1/18
Drinking water The household does not have access to improved drinking water (according to SDG guidelines) or safe drinking water is at least a 30-minute walk from home, round trip. 1/18
Electricity The household has no electricity. 1/18
Housing Housing materials for at least one of roof, walls and floor are inadequate: the floor is of natural materials and/or the roof and/or walls are of natural or rudimentary materials. 1/18
Assets The household does not own more than one of these assets: radio, TV, telephone, computer, animal cart, bicycle, motorbike or refrigerator, and does not own a car or truck. 1/18

The MPI assesses poverty at the individual level. If someone is deprived in a third or more of ten (weighted) indicators, the global index identifies them as ‘MPI poor’, and the extent – or intensity – of their poverty is measured by the percentage of deprivations they are experiencing.

The global MPI can be used to create a comprehensive picture of people living in poverty, and permits comparisons both across countries and world regions, and within countries by ethnic group, urban/rural area, subnational region, and age group, as well as other key household and community characteristics. For each group and for countries as a whole, the composition of MPI by each of the 10 indicators shows how people are poor.

This makes the MPI and its linked information platform invaluable as an analytical tool to identify the most vulnerable people – the poorest among the poor, revealing poverty patterns within countries and over time, enabling policy makers to target resources and design policies more effectively.

The global MPI was developed by OPHI with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for inclusion in UNDP’s flagship Human Development Report in 2010. It has been published in the HDR and by OPHI ever since.

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