Missing Dimensions of Poverty

Money alone is an incomplete measure of ‘poverty’. Human development is about giving people the opportunities to live lives they value, and focuses on what people are able to be and to do. OPHI has identified five Missing Dimensions of poverty that deprived people cite as important in their experiences of poverty.

Quality of Work

Informal employment, security and safety at work.

Formal and informal employment, hazards, income, self-employment, responses to shock and fair treatment.


Control over actions in public and private domains, how autonomy, coercion and the desire to please others shape action.

Physical Safety

Freedom from violence against people and property.

Violent crime and conflict-related violence against people and property (e.g. theft) and responses to violence.

Social Connectedness

Relationships and freedom from shame and humiliation.

Value of relations and social connections, both intrinsically and instrumentally, aspects of shame, social isolation.

Psychological Wellbeing and Happiness

Happiness, satisfaction and a meaningful life.

Happiness, overall satisfaction and satisfaction by domain, psychological wellbeing and meaning in life.

To collect better data on these ‘missing dimensions’, OPHI has designed five short, 8-10 minute questionnaire modules that can be integrated into national household surveys. For more information, and to access the modules in different languages, see the Survey Modules page.