How poor are People with Disabilities around the Globe? A Multidimensional Perspective

People with disabilities and their families have been recognised as a high risk population and are particularly likely to be poor and deprived (Mitra, Posarac, & Vick, 2013). Although the number of studies analysing the levels of poverty of this group has increased in the last decade, there is still a lack of empirical evidence that establishes whether and how people with disabilities are significantly poorer (Groce, Kembhavi, et al., 2011). This study aims to analyse the levels of multidimensional poverty of people living in households with members with disabilities, in 11 developing countries from different regions of the world. Using the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (Global MPI), the incidence and intensity of multidimensional poverty of people living in households with and without members with disabilities were calculated and rigorously compared the poverty levels experienced by people living in households in which no member has disabilities. In addition, it studies the levels of destitution and the percentage of individuals living in households with members with disabilities facing severe multidimensional poverty. The results reveal that people living in households with disabled members in four countries face significantly higher levels of multidimensional poverty. These households also contribute more to the national levels of multidimensional poverty than their share in the population. More worryingly, a large percentage of households are not only severely multidimensionally poor but also destitute. It is important to highlight that if disability questions are consistently included in future international multi-topic surveys, these kinds of empirical explorations could become widespread, providing the information required to support households whose members have disabilities and are multidimensionally poor.

Pinilla-Roncancio, M. and Alkire, S. (2017). ‘How poor are people with disabilities around the globe? A multidimensional perspective.’ OPHI Research in Progress 48a, University of Oxford.