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Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2022

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2022
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By: M Ahmad

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 was developed in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme and uses health, education and standard of living indicators to determine the incidence and intensity of poverty experienced by a population. It has since been used to measure acute poverty across over 100 developing countries. The Global MPI is released annually by UNDP and OPHI and the results published in their websites. The MPI is published along with the Human Development Index (HDI) in the Human Development Report.

MPI 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. It advocates state that the method 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. MPIs are useful 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.

The 2022 MPI Report finds that reducing poverty at scale is possible and unveils new ‘poverty profiles’ that can offer a breakthrough in development efforts to tackle the interlinked aspects of poverty. The report identifies a series of ‘deprivation bundles’ — recurring patterns of poverty — that commonly impact those who live in multidimensional poverty across the world. The data are used to identify the poverty profiles that are more common in certain places. This is a crucial step in designing strategies that address multiple aspects of poverty at the same time.

As of 2021, approximately 16.4 percent of the Indian population were reportedly multidimensionally poor. This reflected a much lower percentage of multidimensionally poor population in India. The global multidimensional poverty index 2022 covered 109 countries in developing regions, identifying 1.3 billion out of 5.9 billion people living in these countries as multidimensionally poor; 1.2 billion people are multidimensionally poor.

Nearly half of them live in severe poverty, Half of poor people (593 million) are children under age 18, The number of poor people is highest in Sub Saharan Africa (579 million), followed by South Asia (385 million), the two regions together are home to 83% of poor people. India has by far the largest number of poor people worldwide at 22.8 crore, followed by Nigeria at 9.6 crore.

Two-thirds of these people live in a household in which at least one person is deprived of nutrition. As many as 41.5 crore people moved out of poverty in India during the 15-year period between 2005-06 and 2019-21. Bihar, the poorest state in 2015-16, saw the fastest reduction in MPI value in absolute terms. The percentage of poor in Bihar fell from 77.4 % in 2005-06 to 52.4 % in 2015-16 and further to 34.7 % in 2019-21.

Of the 10 poorest states in 2015/2016, only one (West Bengal) have emerged out of the list in 2019-21. The rest (Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan) remain among the 10 poorest. Across states and union territories in India, the fastest reduction in relative terms was in Goa, followed by Jammu and Kashmir, Poverty among children fell faster in absolute terms, although India still has the highest number of poor children in the world. More than one in five children in India are poor compared with around one in seven adults. A whopping 45.5 million poor individuals lack access to food, shelter, sanitation, and cooking fuel. They are primarily concentrated in India, with the remainder living in Bangladesh and Pakistan. This makes it a distinctive trend that is exclusive to South Asia.

Multidimensional Poverty Indices typically use the household as their unit of analysis, though this is not an absolute requirement.  A household is deprived for a given indicator if they fail to satisfy a given ‘cutoff’ (e.g. having at least one adult member with at least six years of education). A household is assigned a ‘deprivation score’ determined by the number of indicators they are deprived in and the ‘weights’ assigned to those indicators. Each dimension (health, education, standard of living, etc.) is typically given an equal weighting, and each indicator within the dimension is also typically weighted equally.

If this household deprivation score exceeds a given threshold (e.g. 1/3) then a household is considered to be ‘multiply deprived’, or simply ‘poor’. The final ‘MPI score’ (or ‘Adjusted Headcount Ratio’) is determined by the proportion of households deemed ‘poor’, multiplied by the average deprivation score of ‘poor’ households. Poverty among children fell faster in absolute terms, although India still has the highest number of poor children in the world. Improvement in MPI for India has significantly contributed to the decline in poverty in South Asia.

  Dimension   Indicators
  Health •          Child  Morality

•          Nutrition

  Education •           Years  of  schooling

•           School  attendance

  Living Standards •           Cooking  fuel

•           Sanitation

•           Drinking  water

•           Electricity

•           Housing

•           Assets


India has made tremendous progress in lifting people out of poverty, according to the latest Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) brought out by UNDP and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. The number of poor people in India fell by about 415 million between 2005-06 and 2019-21, though the country still has by far the largest number of poor worldwide.

For the first time, the report dedicated a special section focusing on the 15-year trend of poverty in India. Over the past 15 years, the number of poor people has declined by 415 million. The MPI value and incidence of poverty fell from 0.283 in 2005-06 to 0.122 in 2015-16. The figure dropped again to 0.069 in 2019-21. However, India still has the highest number of poor people in the world and Nigeria has the second-highest poor population. Though poverty among children has declined at a faster rate, India hosts the highest number of poor children. 97 million children (21.8% of Indian children) are poor in the country. Children (under the age of 18) account for 50 percent of poor people in India. This means that one in every three children lives in poverty, while one in seven adults lives in poverty.

About 94 million people (8.1 percent) above the age of 60 are poor. The 2019-2021 data revealed that around 16.4 per cent of the population in India is poor. Of these, 4.2 percent live in extreme poverty since their deprivation score is above 50 per cent. About 18.7 percent of the population is vulnerable and likely to be pushed into extreme poverty. Of these, two-thirds fall into the category where one person is at least deprived of nutrition.

India is the only country in South Asia where poverty is significantly higher among female-headed households (19.7%) than male-headed households (15.9%). Nationally, the relative drop in poverty was faster at the rate of 11.9% per annum during the period between 2015-16 and 2019-21 than the period between 2005-06 and 2015-16, when the poverty rate dropped at 8.1 per cent per year. The later years witnessed a faster reduction in poverty because reducing relative poverty is easier to achieve when starting poverty levels are low. Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan witnessed the fastest poverty reduction. Other states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan continue to be the poorest states.

1.2 billion people (19.1%) live in severe multidimensional poverty in 111 nations. Of which, 593 million (50%) are children under the age of 18 years. The developing area with the largest presence of multidimensional poverty is Sub- Saharan Africa (nearly 579 million), closely followed by South Asia (385 million). With an estimated 23 crores of people living in multidimensional poverty, India ranks first in the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2022. India has by far the largest number of poor people worldwide at 22.8 crore, followed by Nigeria at 9.6 crore. Two-third of these people live in a household in which at least one person is deprived in nutrition. There were also 9.7 crore poor children in India in 2019-2021. Rural areas account for nearly 90% of poor people.

The 2022 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) uses the most recent comparable data available for 111 countries—23 low-income countries, 85 middle-income countries and 3 high-income countries. These countries—home to 6.1  billion people, 1.2  billion (or 19.1  percent) of whom live in poverty—account for about 92  percent of the population in developing regions. The global MPI shows who they are, where they live and what deprivations hold them back from achieving the wellbeing they deserve. MPI values, the incidence and intensity of poverty, and component indicators are disaggregated by age group, rural and urban areas and gender of the household head as well as for 1,287 subnational regions. Trends in reducing MPI values are available for 81 countries and 810 subnational regions, as well as for age groups and areas. These estimates help in meeting the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: to leave no one behind.

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.”— Nelson Mandela

(The author is an educationist and a regular contributor to ‘Kashmir Vision’)

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