# Multidimensional Poverty Index

The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was developed in 2010 by Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative and the United Nations Development Programme[1] and uses different factors to determine poverty beyond income-based lists. It replaced the previous Human Poverty Index. The global MPI is released annually by OPHI and the results published on its website.

The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional income-based poverty measures by capturing the severe deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards. 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 number of deprivations they are experiencing. The MPI can be used to create a comprehensive picture of people living in poverty, and permits comparisons both across countries, regions and the world and within countries by ethnic group, urban/rural location, as well as other key household and community characteristics.

This makes it 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.

## Indicators

The index uses the same three dimensions as the Human Development Index: health, education, and standard of living. These are measured using ten indicators.

Dimension Indicators
Health
• Child Mortality
• Nutrition
Education
• Years of schooling
• School attendance
Living Standards
• Cooking fuel
• Toilet
• Water
• Electricity
• Floor
• Assets

Each dimension and each indicator within a dimension is equally weighted.

## Calculation of the index

### Formula

The MPI is calculated as follows:[2]

$MPI = H \times A$

H: Percentage of people who are MPI poor (incidence of poverty)
A: Average intensity of MPI poverty across the poor (%)

### Indicators used

The following ten indicators are used to calculate the MPI:[3]

• Education (each indicator is weighted equally at 1/6)
1. Years of schooling: deprived if no household member has completed five years of schooling
2. Child school attendance: deprived if any school-aged child is not attending school up to class 8
• Health (each indicator is weighted equally at 1/6)
1. Child mortality: deprived if any child has died in the family
2. Nutrition: deprived if any adult or child for whom there is nutritional information is malnourished
• Standard of Living (each indicator is weighted equally at 1/18)
1. Electricity: deprived if the household has no electricity
2. Sanitation: deprived if the household’s sanitation facility is not improved (according to MDG guidelines), or it is improved but shared with other households
3. Drinking water: deprived if the household does not have access to safe drinking water (according to MDG guidelines) or safe drinking water is more than a 30-minute walk from home roundtrip
4. Floor: deprived if the household has a dirt, sand or dung floor
5. Cooking fuel: deprived if the household cooks with dung, wood or charcoal
6. Assets ownership: deprived if the household does not own more than one radio, TV, telephone, bike, motorbike or refrigerator and does not own a car or truck

A person is considered poor if they are deprived in at least a third of the weighted indicators. The intensity of poverty denotes the proportion of indicators in which they are deprived.

### Real example

Niger:[4]

• MPI = 0.642
• H = 0.927
• A = 0.693

In Niger, 92.7% of the country's population is MPI poor (they are deprived in at least 33.33% of the weighted indicators, by definition). Those who are MPI poor suffer from deprivation in 69.3% of indicators, on average.

### Fictional example

Country X consists of persons A, B and C. The following table shows the deprivation on each of the 10 indicators for persons A, B and C.

"0%" indicates no deprivation in that indicator, while "100%" indicates deprivation in that indicator.

Indicator Weight Person A Person B Person C
1 1/6 0% 0% 0%
2 1/6 0% 0% 0%
3 1/6 100% 100% 0%
4 1/6 0% 100% 0%
5 1/18 0% 100% 100%
6 1/18 0% 100% 100%
7 1/18 0% 0% 100%
8 1/18 100% 100% 100%
9 1/18 100% 0% 100%
10 1/18 100% 0% 0%
Weighted score 33.33% 50.00% 27.78%
Status MPI poor ( 33%) MPI poor ( 33%) Not MPI poor (< 33%)

Factor H for country X is:

$\frac {1 + 1 + 0}{3} = 0.667$

Factor A for country X is:

$\frac {33.33\% + 50.00\%} {2} = 0.417$

Thus, the MPI for country X is:

$0.667 \times 0.417 = 0.278$

## Evaluation of MPI as a poverty Indicator

The MPI constitutes a sincere effort towards expansion as well as simplification of poverty estimation.

### Comparison with HDI

HDI, the Human Development Index, was developed by Mahbub ul Haq and Amartya Sen, in 1990, and was also developed by the UNDP. It is calculated as the geometric mean of the normalized indices of the three dimensions of human development it takes into account: health, education and standard of living. The UNDP is trying to improve on the HDI formula by introducing the IHDI (Inequality affected HDI).

While both HDI and MPI use the 3 broad dimensions health, education and standard of living, HDI uses only single indicators for each dimension of poverty while MPI uses more than one indicator for each one. This, amongst other reasons, has led to the MPI only being calculated for 104 countries, where data is available for all these diverse indicators, while HDI is calculated for almost all countries.

However, though HDI is thus more universally applicable, its relative sparsity of indicators also makes it more susceptible to bias. Indeed some studies have found it to be somewhat biased towards GDP per capita, as demonstrated by a high correlation between HDI and the log of GDPpc. Hence, HDI has been criticized for ignoring other development parameters.

### Comparison with other indicators

Both HDI and MPI have been criticized by economists such as Ratan Lal Basu for not taking "moral/emotional/spiritual dimensions" of poverty into consideration. It has been attempted to capture these additional factors by the "Global Happiness Index" in which a country like Bhutan (which has dismal performance on other indicators) has been ranked no. 1.

## MPI in some developing countries

Country MPI  % of People
who are
MPI Poor
Average
Intensity of
MPI Poverty
Number of MPI
Poor People
(thousands)
Year  % of People who
are Income Poor
($1.25/day) % of People who are Income Poor ($2.00/day)
Year
Albania 0.005 1.4 37.7 45 2009 0.6 4.3 2008
Angola 0.452 77.4 58.4 11,136 2001 54.3 70.2 2000
Argentina 0.011 3.0 37.7 1,160 2005 0.9 2.4 2009
Armenia 0.004 1.1 36.2 34 2005 1.3 12.4 2008
Azerbaijan 0.021 5.3 39.4 461 2006 1.0 7.8 2008
Bangladesh 0.292 57.8 50.4 83,207 2007 49.6 81.3 2005
Belarus 0.000 0.0 35.1 0 2005 0.1 0.2 2008
Belize 0.024 5.6 42.6 16 2006 12.4 24.5 1999
Benin 0.412 71.8 57.4 5,652 2006 47.3 75.3 2003
Bhutan 0.119 27.2 43.9 197 2010 26.2 49.5 2003
Bolivia 0.089 20.5 43.7 1,972 2008 13.6 25.1 2007
Bosnia and Herzegovina 0.003 0.8 37.2 30 2006 0.0 0.2 2007
Brazil 0.011 2.7 39.3 5,075 2006 3.8 9.9 2009
Burkina Faso 0.536 82.6 64.9 12,078 2006 56.5 81.2 2003
Burundi 0.530 84.5 62.7 6,127 2005 81.3 93.5 2006
Cambodia 0.251 52.0 48.4 6,946 2005 28.3 56.5 2007
Cameroon 0.287 53.3 53.9 9,149 2004 9.6 30.4 2007
Central African Republic 0.512 86.4 59.3 3,199 2000 62.8 80.1 2008
Chad 0.344 62.9 54.7 5,758 2003 61.9 83.3 2003
China 0.056 12.5 44.9 161,675 2003 15.9 36.3 2005
Colombia 0.022 5.4 40.9 2,500 2010 16.0 27.9 2006
Comoros 0.408 73.9 55.2 415 2000 46.1 65.0 2004
Cote d'Ivoire 0.353 61.5 57.4 11,083 2005 23.8 46.3 2008
Croatia 0.016 4.4 36.3 196 2003 0.1 0.1 2008
Czech Republic 0.010 3.1 33.4 316 2003 0.1 0.2 1996
Djibouti 0.139 29.3 47.3 241 2006 18.8 41.2 2002
Dominican Republic 0.018 4.6 39.4 438 2007 4.3 13.6 2007
Congo, Democratic Republic of the 0.393 73.2 53.7 44,485 2007 59.2 79.6 2006
Ecuador 0.009 2.2 41.6 286 2003 4.4 13.6 2009
Egypt 0.024 6.0 40.7 4,699 2008 2.0 18.5 2005
Estonia 0.026 7.2 36.5 97 2003 0.5 1.5 2004
Ethiopia 0.562 88.6 63.5 65,798 2005 39.0 77.6 2005
Gabon 0.161 35.4 45.5 437 2000 4.8 19.6 2005
Gambia 0.324 60.4 53.6 934 2006 34.3 56.7 2003
Georgia 0.003 0.8 35.2 36 2005 15.3 32.2 2008
Ghana 0.144 31.2 46.2 7,258 2008 30.0 53.6 2006
Guatemala 0.127 25.9 49.1 3,134 2003 11.7 24.3 2006
Guinea 0.506 82.5 61.3 7,459 2005 43.3 69.6 2007
Guyana 0.053 13.4 39.5 100 2005 8.7 18.0 1998
Haiti 0.299 56.4 53.0 5,346 2006 54.9 72.2 2001
Honduras 0.159 32.5 48.9 2,281 2006 23.3 35.4 2007
Hungary 0.016 4.6 34.3 466 2003 0.2 0.4 2007
India 0.283 53.7 52.7 612,203 2005 41.6 75.6 2005
Indonesia 0.095 20.8 45.9 48,352 2007 18.7 50.6 2009
Iraq 0.059 14.2 41.3 3,996 2006 4.0 25.3 2007
Jordan 0.008 2.4 34.4 145 2009 0.4 3.5 2006
Kazakhstan 0.002 0.6 36.9 92 2006 0.2 1.5 2007
Kenya 0.229 47.8 48.0 18,863 2009 19.7 39.9 2005
Kyrgyzstan 0.019 4.9 38.8 249 2006 1.9 29.4 2007
Laos 0.267 47.2 56.5 2,757 2006 33.9 66.0 2008
Latvia 0.006 1.6 37.9 37 2003 0.3 1.0 2004
Lesotho 0.156 35.3 44.1 759 2009 43.4 62.3 2003
Liberia 0.485 83.9 57.7 2,917 2007 83.7 94.8 2007
Macedonia 0.008 1.9 40.9 39 2005 0.3 4.3 2008
Madagascar 0.357 66.9 53.3 13,463 2009 67.8 89.6 2005
Malawi 0.381 72.1 52.8 8,993 2004 73.9 90.5 2004
Maldives 0.018 5.2 35.6 16 2009 1.5 12.2 2004
Mali 0.558 86.6 64.4 11,772 2006 51.4 77.1 2006
Mauritania 0.352 61.7 57.1 1,982 2007 21.2 44.1 2000
Mexico 0.015 4.0 38.9 4,313 2006 1.8 8.6 2008
Moldova 0.007 1.9 36.7 72 2005 1.9 12.5 2008
Mongolia 0.065 15.8 41.0 402 2005 22.4 49.1 2005
Montenegro 0.006 1.5 41.6 9 2005 0.1 0.2 2008
Morocco 0.048 10.6 45.3 3,287 2007 2.5 14.0 2007
Mozambique 0.512 79.3 64.6 18,127 2009 59.6 81.8 2008
Burma 0.154 31.8 48.3 14,297 2000
Namibia 0.187 39.6 47.2 855 2007 49.1 62.2 1993
Nepal 0.350 64.7 54.0 18,009 2006 24.82 57.25 2010
Nicaragua 0.128 28.0 45.7 1,538 2006 15.8 31.9 2005
Niger 0.642 92.4 69.4 12,437 2006 43.1 75.9 2007
Nigeria 0.310 54.1 57.3 81,510 2008 64.4 83.9 2004
Occupied Palestinian Territories 0.005 1.4 37.3 52 2007
Pakistan 0.264 49.4 53.4 81,236 2007 22.6 61.0 2006
Paraguay 0.064 13.3 48.5 755 2003 5.1 13.2 2008
Peru 0.086 19.9 43.2 5,421 2004 5.9 14.7 2009
Philippines 0.064 13.4 47.4 12,083 2008 22.6 45.0 2006
Congo, Republic of the 0.208 40.6 51.2 1,600 2009 54.1 74.4 2005
Russia 0.005 1.3 38.9 1,883 2003 0.0 0.1 2008
Rwanda 0.426 80.2 53.2 7,380 2005 76.8 89.6 2005
São Tomé and Príncipe 0.154 34.5 44.7 56 2009 29.7 55.9 2001
Senegal 0.384 66.9 57.4 7,273 2005 33.5 60.4 2005
Serbia 0.003 0.8 40.0 79 2005 0.1 0.7 2008
Sierra Leone 0.439 77.0 57.0 4,321 2008 53.4 76.1 2003
Slovakia 0.000 0.0 0.0 0 2003 0.3 1.4 1996
Somalia 0.514 81.2 63.3 6,940 2006
South Africa 0.057 13.4 42.3 6,609 2008 17.4 35.7 2006
Sri Lanka 0.021 5.3 38.7 1,027 2003 7.0 29.1 2007
Suriname 0.039 8.2 47.2 41 2006 15.5 27.2 1999
Swaziland 0.184 41.4 44.5 469 2007 62.9 81.0 2001
Syria 0.021 5.5 37.5 1,041 2006 1.7 16.9 2004
Tajikistan 0.068 17.1 40.0 1,103 2005 21.5 50.9 2004
Tanzania 0.367 65.2 56.3 27,559 2008 67.9 87.9 2007
Thailand 0.006 1.6 38.5 1,067 2005 0.4 11.5 2004
East Timor 0.360 68.1 52.9 749 2009 37.4 72.8 2007
Togo 0.284 54.3 52.4 3,003 2006 38.7 69.3 2006
Trinidad and Tobago 0.020 5.6 35.1 74 2006 4.2 13.5 1992
Tunisia 0.010 2.8 37.1 272 2003 2.6 12.8 2000
Turkey 0.028 6.6 42.0 4,378 2003 2.7 9.1 2005
Uganda 0.367 72.3 50.7 21,235 2006 37.7 64.5 2009
Ukraine 0.008 2.2 35.5 1,018 2007 0.0 0.1 2008
United Arab Emirates 0.002 0.6 35.3 20 2003
Uruguay 0.006 1.7 34.7 56 2003 0.0 0.2 2009
Uzbekistan 0.008 2.3 36.2 603 2006 46.3 76.7 2003
Vanuatu 0.129 30.1 42.7 67 2007
Vietnam 0.084 17.7 47.2 14,249 2002 13.1 38.5 2008
Yemen 0.283 52.5 53.9 11,176 2006 17.5 46.6 2005
Zambia 0.328 64.2 51.2 7,739 2007 64.3 81.5 2004
Zimbabwe 0.180 39.7 45.3 4,974 2006

Source: Alkire, S. Roche, JM. Santos, ME. and Seth, S (November 2011) http://ophi.qeh.ox.ac.uk . Multidimensional Poverty Index: 2011 Data. Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. Available at: www.ophi.org.uk/policy/multidimensional-poverty-index/.