South Africa

MPI originally introduced: 2014

Latest results: South African MPI 2014

In 2014, Statistics South Africa built a national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) – the South African Multidimensional Poverty Index (or SAMPI). Alongside the three dimensions used in the Global MPI – heath, education and living standards – SAMPI includes a fourth dimension on economic activity, using unemployment as the indicator.

The South African Multidimensional Poverty Index (SAMPI) 2014 used data collected by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) through the censuses of 2001 and 2011. The SAMPI built on the work started with the development of the Provincial Indices of Multiple Deprivation (PIMD) after Census 2001.

The measure was designed to 'improve poverty measurement for the country and to align ourselves with the growing international trend towards measuring poverty beyond the traditional money-metric method'. It is intended to complement the money-metric measures already used in the country, including the food poverty line, the lower-bound poverty line and the upper-bound poverty line.

South Africa has been a member of the Steering Committee of the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network since the MPPN was established in 2013. 

South Africa MPI structure

Poverty Cut-Off: A person is considered poor if they are deprived in 33.3% or more of the 11 weighted indicators.

Global MPI

The annual global MPI produced by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative in partnership with the Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme is an internationally comparable index of acute multidimensional poverty. OPHI publishes Country Briefings summarising poverty statistics of the global MPI for each country. 

Visit the most recent Global MPI Country Briefing for South Africa based on DHS 2016

More info on SAMPI

Official institution responsible for statistics


Dimensions articles

Press Releases/News

Cover of South Africa MPI report