Multidimensional Poverty Index 2018

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  • Published
    29th Sep, 2018


  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) have recently released the 2018 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).
  • The MPI looks at the multifaceted nature of poverty and provides the most comprehensive view of the various ways in which 3 billion people worldwide experience poverty in their daily life.


  • Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) identifies people’s deprivations across three key dimensions – health, education and living standards.
  • MPI covers 105 countries in total, home to 75% of the world’s population, or 5.7 billion people. Of this proportion, 1.3 billion are identified as multi-dimensionally poor, and half of them are younger than 18 years old.
  • The latest data further reveals the vast majority of the multidimensional poor – 1.1 billion people – live in rural areas around the world, where poverty rates are four times higher than among those living in urban areas.
  • 83% of the world’s poor live in South Asia and Africa.

India’s performance

  • India has made momentous progress in reducing multidimensional poverty, bringing down its poverty rate from 55% to 28% in ten years.
  • Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, more than 271 million people have come out of the clutches of poverty in India.
  • However, India still has the largest number of people living in multidimensional poverty in the world- around 364 million people.
  • India’s scale of multidimensional poverty reduction over the decade from 2005-06 to 2015-16 – from 635 million poor persons to 364 million– can be compared to the speedy pace of China’s poverty reduction, which occurred over more than 20 years.
  • Among states, Jharkhand had the greatest improvement, with Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland only slightly behind. However, Bihar is still the poorest state in 2015/16, with more than half of its population in poverty.

Across nearly every state, poor nutrition is the largest contributor to multidimensional poverty. Not having a household member with at least six years of education is the second largest contributor. Insufficient access to clean water and child mortality contribute least.

Relative performance of India

  • Among the South Asian countries, only Maldives boasts lower MPI of 0.007 than India (0.121).
  • Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan and Afghanistan all boast higher incidences of multidimensional poverty.
  • After India (364 million people), the countries with the largest number of people living in multi-dimensional poverty are Nigeria (97 million), Ethiopia (86 million), Pakistan (85 million), and Bangladesh (67 million).

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