Exploring Multidimensional Poverty in China: 2010 to 2014

OPHI Research in Progress

Most poverty research has explored monetary poverty. This paper presents and analyses the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) estimations for China. Using China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), we find China’s global MPI is 0.035 in 2010, and decreases significantly to 0.017 in 2014. The dimensional composition of MPI suggests that nutrition, education, safe drinking water and cooking fuel contribute most to overall non-monetary poverty in China. Such analysis is also applied to sub-groups including geographic areas (rural/urban, east/central/west, provinces), as well as social characteristics such as gender of the household heads, age, education level, marital status, household size, migration status, ethnicity, and religion. We find the level and composition of poverty differs significantly across certain subgroups. We also find high levels of mismatch between monetary and multidimensional poverty at the household level, which highlights the importance of using both complementary measures to track progress in eradicating poverty. 

Citation: Alkire, S. and Shen, Y. (2017). 'Exploring Multidimensional Poverty in China: 2010 to 2014', OPHI Research in Progress 47a, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford. 

Updated version of this paper is published in Research in Economic Inequality: Poverty, Inequality and Welfare (ed. J. Bishop), 2017, Vol. 25, pp 161–228.

China, multidimensional poverty, poverty disaggregation, mismatch, poverty measurement, Multidimensional Poverty Index, national MPI
East Asia and the Pacific

Exploring Multidimensional Poverty in China: 2010 to 2014

Sabina Alkire and Yangyang Shen
Series Name
OPHI Research in Progress
Publication date
Publication Number
RP 47a