Photo: United Nations
  1. National MPI
  2. Global MPI 2021 Country Briefing
  3. Joined MPPN: 2013
  4. Voluntary National Review
  5. Dimensions magazine articles


  1. National MPI

Multidimensional Poor (based on National MPI): 5.8% in 2017
Launch date of national MPI: 2010 (updated in 2012 and 2017)
Institution responsible for national MPI: National Statistics Bureau
Dimensions of national MPI: education, health, and living standards

Similar to their Gross National Happiness (GNH) philosophy of a holistic development approach, the Bhutan government recognises the importance of looking at poverty not only as a measure income but through other dimensions, and has adopted and uses the MPI since 2010.

Bhutan’s MPI builds upon the global MPI and retains its three dimensions of health, education, and living standards. The indicator choice is shaped by the Bhutan Living Standards Survey (BLSS) datasets. Eight indicators are the same as the global MPI and five are tailored to Bhutan. Instead of the nutrition indicator (in the health dimension), food security is used. Four tailored indicators – access to roads, land ownership, livestock ownership, and a modified assets indicator (in the living standards dimension) – are included (as shown in Table below).

Source: Bhutan Multidimensional Poverty Index 2017 report.


In 2017, the multidimensional poverty rate is estimated at 5.8% of the population. The average intensity of deprivation, which reflects the share of deprivations each poor person experiences on average, is 39%. The MPI, which is the product of the percentage of poor people and the average intensity of poverty, stands at 0.023. This indicates that poor people in Bhutan experience merely 2.3% of the deprivations that would be experienced if all people were deprived in all indicators. The urban poverty rate is 1.2% while rural poverty stands at 8.1% – and 93% of Bhutanese poor live in rural areas.

In terms of the percentage contribution of each of the 13 indicators to overall multidimensional poverty, the largest contributors to national poverty are deprivations in years of education (32%), followed by child mortality (23%) and school attendance (13%). When aggregating by dimensions, the largest contributor is the education dimension (45%). The living standards and health dimensions contribute 21% and 34%, respectively, to overall poverty (Bhutan MPI 2017)

Read the Bhutan Multidimensional Poverty Index 2012 and Bhutan Multidimensional Poverty Index report 2017.

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4. Voluntary National Review

Voluntary National Review 2018 of Bhutan (VNR) mentioned its national MPI and the Child MPI as tools to help eradicate poverty (SDG1): “While multidimensional poverty has reduced significantly rural poverty is much higher than urban poverty: 8.1 per cent compared to 1.2 per cent and children between 0-9 years of age are found to be poorest age group in Bhutan”(page 28). VNR is available here.

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