Poverty has many dimensions that go beyond monetary measures of consumption or income. Multidimensional poverty measures, such as the Global MPI produced by UNDP and OPHI, try to take into account these multiple facets of poverty. Similarly, the World Bank’s Multidimensional Poverty Measure (MPM) seeks to understand poverty beyond monetary deprivations (which remain the focal point of the World Bank’s monitoring of global poverty) by including access to education and basic infrastructure along with the monetary headcount ratio at the US$1.90 international poverty line.
This blog introduces a new interactive website that presents the latest data on the World Bank’s MPM:
- Download the latest edition of the MPM data, which includes the most recent data for 124 economies;
- Tableau dashboards allowing users to visualize key patterns across economies;
- Tableau dashboards which allow users to test the sensitivity of the MPM to different assumptions by changing the weights of different dimensions and the deprivation thresholds;
- Documentation note
Figure 1. Chartbook on the Multidimensional Poverty Measure
The MPM estimates are reported for a circa 2017 reference year, i.e., including survey data between 2014 and 2019. This is the last year for which sufficient coverage of the world’s population is available. This is the first revision for the circa 2017 estimates, which were published in the Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2020. Differences between the two versions are explained by the release of more recent survey data for countries already in the MPM database and by the addition of 9 new economies (including 4 new economies from Sub-Saharan Africa), bringing the total number of economies in the dataset to 124.
The aggregate MPM estimates are in line with those reported in previous editions. The share of people living in multidimensional poverty is about a third higher than those living in monetary poverty. While this shows that the two definitions are highly correlated, it points to important additional deprivations resulting from lack of access to infrastructure and education. A global map of multidimensional poverty across countries is available here, and a country ranking is available in this bar chart. Deprivations can be shown separately by dimension, and this figure shows which indicators are driving each deprivation.
Figure 2. Monetary and multi-dimensional poverty headcount ratios
As we reported previously, Sub-Saharan Africa experiences the highest levels of multidimensional poverty and the highest overlaps between different dimensions. As shown by the figure below, about 38% of the multidimensional poor are deprived in all three dimensions, compared with 22% in the Middle East and North Africa, and about 16% in Latin America and the Caribbean. The overlaps in the deprivations at the country-level are shown in this interactive graph.
Figure 3. Share of the population living in households deprived in multiple dimensions, selected regions circa 2017
Note: The Venn diagrams show the overlaps in different dimensions of the multidimensional poverty measure at the household level. It shows the share of households (in percent) deprived in all indicators and in each combination of the monetary, education, and basic infrastructure dimensions. Only Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the total for all regions, are shown because these regions have sufficient population coverage.
 The MPM world average is reported if data is available for at least 50% of the population and at least 50% of the population living in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Regional aggregates are reported if data covers at least 50% of the regional population. The same rules are used for the publication of global monetary poverty.