Malawi Multidimensional Poverty Index Report

20 December, 2021

The Malawi Multidimensional Poverty Index Report presents the results of the first national Multidimensional Poverty Index for Malawi. The Malawi MPI has been developed to monitor the key simultaneous disadvantages that affect people living in multidimensional poverty in Malawi, and to identify social progress made towards the Malawi 2063 national vision and target 1.2 of the SDGs.

This report was produced by the National Statistical Office (NSO) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the University of Malawi (Economics Department), the Centre for Social Research, the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, with technical support from the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). The Malawi MPI is based on data from the Fourth Integrated Household Survey (IHS4) 2016/17. This report offers a baseline for findings on multidimensional poverty and will be revised using data from the IHS5 survey (2019/20) to show changes in the levels and composition of multidimensional poverty.

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Key findings include:

  • 61.7% of Malawi’s population are multidimensionally poor.
  • The intensity of poverty is 54.6%, meaning that nationally poor people experience, on average, more than half of the weighted deprivations.
  • The MPI, which is the product of the incidence and intensity of poverty, is 0.337.
  • The indicators that contribute most to multidimensional poverty in Malawi nationally are literacy and schooling (14.9%), electricity (11.4%), and job diversity (11.3%).
  • Analysis by region shows that the incidence of multidimensional poverty is highest in the Southern region and lowest in the Northern region at 63.7 and 43.7%, respectively.
  • The incidence of multidimensional poverty is highest in rural areas at 70.0% compared to 25.7% in urban areas.



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Malawi Malawi MPI Multidimensional Poverty