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Global Multidimensional Poverty Index

Click for GLOBAL MPI 2015

Visit the Global MPI 2015 pages to access a wealth of resources, including case studies, infographics and an interactive databank, as well as country profiles, policy briefings, and downloadable data tables.

What is the global MPI?

The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is an international measure of acute poverty covering over 100 developing countries. It complements traditional income-based poverty measures by capturing the severe deprivations that each person faces at the same time with respect to education, health and living standards.

The MPI assesses poverty at the individual level. If someone is deprived in a third or more of ten (weighted) indicators (see left), the global index identifies them as ‘MPI poor’, and the extent – or intensity – of their poverty is measured by the number of deprivations they are experiencing.

The MPI 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.

This makes it invaluable 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 global MPI was developed by OPHI with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for inclusion in UNDP’s flagship Human Development Report in 2010. It has been published in the HDR ever since.

Find out more

MPI FAQs: Everything you need to know about the MPI

National and regional MPIs: Find out how countries are implementing their own MPI measures

Why multidimensional poverty measures? Conceptual arguments, public debates and challenges

The Alkire Foster method Find out about the counting approach used to construct the MPI

Background to the MPI How the global MPI was developed for UNDP’s Human Development Report in 2010

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World leaders show how integrated policies to fight poverty need multidimensional measures During the United Nations summit to agree a historic new global development agenda, twenty eminent speakers stressed the importance of adopting a multidimensional approach to measuring and eradicating poverty at the national and global levels. Read more

Towards a Multidimensional Poverty Index for Germany A new study published in the OPHI working paper series proposes a multidimensional poverty index (MPI) for Germany to reveal the overlapping disadvantages poor people can face across different areas of life. Read more

Blog: Income and Multidimensional Poverty – Fighting poverty in all its dimensions In this blog post, OPHI Director Sabina Alkire discusses how global and national measures of multidimensional poverty can energise a coordinated, effective and multi-sectoral attack on poverty in all its dimensions, helping to measure target 1.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Read more

Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Latin America: Previous Experience and the Way Forward This paper states the need to design a multidimensional poverty index for the Latin America region (LA-MPI) that can monitor poverty trends in a cross-country comparable way, yet is also relevant to the particular regional context. Read more

Measuring Conjoint Vulnerabilities in Italy: An Asset-Based Approach This paper uses an asset-based approach, focusing on the resources that individuals and households can draw upon to reduce economic vulnerability and strengthen their resilience. Read more

Measuring and Decomposing Inequality among the Multidimensionally Poor Using Ordinal Data: A Counting Approach A paper by Suman Seth and Sabina Alkire proposes the use of a separate decomposable inequality measure using Demographic Health Survey datasets. Read more