What is a Multidimensional Poverty Index?

Multidimensional poverty measures allow us to see how many households are experiencing deprivations at the same time. At a glance the measure shows an integrated picture of the situation. The MPI can also be used to examine whole populations, sub-groups or specific deprivations to see the impact of poverty on different communities. The multidimensional measurement is rigorous, easy to use, flexible, and adapts well to different contexts.

The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (global MPI) is a poverty measure that reflects the multiple deprivations that poor people face in the areas of education, health, and living standards. The Global MPI reflects both the incidence of multidimensional poverty (the proportion of people in a population who are multidimensionally poor) and its intensity (the average number of deprivations that each poor person experiences). It can be used to create a comprehensive picture of people living in poverty and allows for comparisons between countries, regions and the world, as well as within countries by ethnic group, urban/rural location, and other characteristics of households and communities.

Several countries have developed their own multidimensional poverty measures at the national or local level.