The 2019 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

The 2019 MPI in the news

The 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index featured in two editorials – The Washington Post focused on the progress made in eradicating poverty in all its forms, while the editorial from Christian Science Monitor stressed the need to go beyond income poverty measures of poverty and how the MPI can help re-focus policies.

The release of the new data was picked up also by the print version of the Financial Times, which focused on the rural-urban divide. The Guardian highlighted the progress made in the last decade in reducing human deprivations; and Forbes and Newsweek put the focus on India’s success story. The new ‘anatomy of poverty’ - and the inequality aspect - was featured in Der Spiegel and El Pais.

International newswire like EFE , Xinhua, Reliefweb, and IPS ; as well as relevant regional outlets in Latin America (Prensa Latina and Andina) and Asia (Chanel News Asia, CNN-News18 and CGTN (CCTV) also covered the release of the data.

At the country level, media interest was especially pronounced in many of the countries for which the 2019 global MPI presented trends over time. Among others, the most relevant articles include: Hindustan Times Online and Hindu Online in India; Fars News Agency Online and Fortune Newspaper in Ethiopia, Bdnews24.com and The Daily Star in Bangladesh, Gestión and El Comercio in Peru and Reforma in Mexico.




The 2019 Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) data and publication "Illuminating Inequalities" released on 11 July 2019 shed light on the number of people experiencing poverty at regional, national and subnational levels, and reveal inequalities across countries and among the poor themselves.

Jointly developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford, the 2019 global MPI offers data for 101 countries, covering 76 percent of the global population.

The MPI provides a comprehensive and in-depth picture of global poverty – in all its dimensions – and monitors progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 – to end poverty in all its forms. It also provides policymakers with the data to respond to the call of Target 1.2, which is to ‘reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women, and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definition'.

The publication “Illuminating Inequalities” previews ongoing research into trends over time for a group of countries including Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Peru. SDG target 10.1 calls for tracking the progress of the bottom 40 percent of the population compared with that of the total population – the publication includes case studies and a detailed analysis of the growth of those furthest behind – the ‘bottom 40%’.


Key findings

  • Across 101 countries, 1.3 billion people—23.1 percent—are multidimensionally poor.
  • Two-thirds of multidimensionally poor people live in middle-income countries.
  • There is massive variation in multidimensional poverty within countries. For example, Uganda’s national multidimensional poverty rate (55.1 percent) is similar to the Sub-Saharan Africa average (57.5 percent), but the incidence of multidimensional poverty in Uganda’s provinces ranges from 6.0 percent to 96.3 percent, a range similar to that of national multidimensional poverty rates in Sub-Saharan Africa (6.3–91.9 percent).
  • Half of the 1.3 billion multidimensionally poor people are children under age 18. A third are children under age 10.
  • This year’s spotlight on child poverty in South Asia reveals considerable diversity. While 10.7 percent of South Asian girls are out of school and live in a multidimensionally poor household, that average hides variation: in Afghanistan 44.0 percent do.
  • In South Asia 22.7 percent of children under age 5 experience intrahousehold inequality in deprivation in nutrition (where at least one child in the household is malnourished and at least one child in the household is not). In Pakistan over a third of children under age 5 experience such intrahousehold inequality.
  • Of 10 selected countries for which changes over time were analysed, India and Cambodia reduced their MPI values the fastest—and they did not leave the poorest groups behind.
  • There is wide variation across countries in inequality among multidimensionally poor people—that is, in the intensity of poverty experienced by each poor person. For example, Egypt and Paraguay have similar MPI values, but inequality among multidimensionally poor people is considerably higher in Paraguay.
  • There is little or no association between economic inequality (measured using the Gini coefficient) and the MPI value.
  • In the 10 selected countries for which changes over time were analysed, deprivations declined faster among the poorest 40 percent of the population than among the total population.


Downloads


Multidimensional Poverty Index 2019: Illuminating Inequalities 

Table 1: Multidimensional Poverty Index Developing Countries   

Press release   English     Spanish     French

HDR 2019 technical note 5 - MPI  

Frequently asked questions 

DO files 



High-level launch event convened by UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner

Video recording from the 17 July high-level launch event:



2019 MPI: dimensions, indicators, deprivation cutoffs, and weights

The MPI looks beyond income to understand how people experience poverty in multiple and simultaneous ways. It identifies how people are being left behind across three key dimensions: health, education and standard of living, comprising 10 indicators. People who experience deprivation in at least one third of these weighted indicators fall into the category of multidimensionally poor.

Dimensions of Poverty Indicator Deprived if living in the household where… Weight
Health Nutrition An adult under 70 years of age or a child is undernourished. 1/6
Child mortality Any child under the age of 18 years has died in the five years preceding the survey. 1/6
Education Years of schooling No household member aged 10 years or older has completed six years of schooling. 1/6
School attendance Any school-aged child is not attending school up to the age at which he/she would complete class 8. 1/6
Standard of living Cooking Fuel The household cooks with dung, wood, charcoal or coal. 1/18
Sanitation The household’s sanitation facility is not improved (according to SDG guidelines) or it is improved but shared with other households. 1/18
Drinking Water The household does not have access to improved drinking water (according to SDG guidelines) or safe drinking water is at least a 30-minute walk from home, round trip. 1/18
Electricity The household has no electricity. 1/18
Housing Housing materials for at least one of roof, walls and floor are inadequate: the floor is of natural materials and/or the roof and/or walls are of natural or rudimentary materials. 1/18
Assets The household does not own more than one of these assets: radio, TV, telephone, computer, animal cart, bicycle, motorbike or refrigerator, and does not own a car or truck. 1/18