Armenia Launches National Multidimensional Poverty Measure

On 7 November, 2016, Armenia announced the launch of a national Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) in Yerevan. The measure was released as part of the annual “Social Snapshot and Poverty in Armenia” Report produced by the National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia (NSSRA) in partnership with the World Bank. The report used data from the 2010-2015 Integrated Living Conditions Survey (ILCS), as well as data from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Education and Science. As the report says: “Poverty has been described as a deprivation in wellbeing, a lack of key capabilities, and a type of “economic scarcity” of basic needs. A measure of multidimensional poverty captures the complexity, depth and persistence of poverty and offers important information to complement the analysis of monetary (consumption) poverty.”

The selection of dimensions for inclusion in the national measure of multidimensional poverty was based on a series of consultations with stakeholders that sought to identify those deprivations most reflective of the experience of poverty in an Armenian context. The index is composed of the following five dimensions: basic needs, housing, education, labor, and health. The threshold for all members of a household to be considered deprived in a certain dimension is if they are deprived in one quarter or more of the indicators for that dimension. All members of a household are considered multidimensionally poor if they are deprived in more than one quarter of all aggregated indicators.

The main finding of the MPI is that multidimensional poverty has fallen dramatically over the past five years, from 41.2% in 2010 to 29.1% in 2015. Multidimensional poverty is also higher in rural areas than urban areas, with a 2015 rate of 32.7% in rural areas, 25.9% in urban areas other than Yerevan, and 28.0% in the capital city. However, this difference was much larger in 2010 than in 2015 and has narrowed in part due to investment in infrastructure improvements in rural areas. The composition of poverty is also different between rural and urban areas: in rural areas the dimension in which most individuals are deprived is housing, while in urban areas it is labor. Though multidimensional poverty has improved since 2010, the majority of individuals in Armenia still live in households that experience deprivations in one or more dimensions.

The official press release from the National Statistical Service of the Republic of Armenia can be found here.

From report – Table 3.18: Armenia. Selected dimensions and indicators for a measure of multidimensional poverty