Identifying the Poorest People and Groups: Strategies Using the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index

OPHI Working Papers

If development is about poverty reduction, then where the poorest live is an important question. This paper seeks to answer this questionusing an internationally comparable multidimensional poverty index (MPI) to identify the poor using household surveys across more than a hundred countries. We compare three approaches to identifying the bottom billion: (i) the billion living in the poorest countries; (ii) the billion living in the poorest subnational regions and (iii) the poorest billion according to the intensity of their deprivations. Although there are commonalities across these three approaches, they produce notably different findings that are relevant to the discussions of sustainable development goals. 

Citation: Alkire, S., Roche, J. M., Seth, S. and Sumner, A. (2014). 'Identifying the poorest people and groups: Strategies using the global Multidimensional Poverty Index', OPHI Working Papers 78, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford.

Also published in Journal of International Development, 2015, Vol. 27, pp. 362-387.

Bottom billion, geographic decomposition of poverty, identification of the poorest, multidimensional poverty index, sub-national poverty

Sabina Alkire, Jose Manuel Roche, Suman Seth and Andy Sumner
Series Name
OPHI Working Papers
Publication date
JEL Codes
I3, O1
Publication Number
WP 78