Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021


  • Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 was recently released by “United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)” and “Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI)”.

Key findings of Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021

Worldwide, across 109 countries and 5.9 billion people:

  • 1.3 billion people are multidimensionally poor.
  • About half (644 million) are children under age 18.
  • Nearly 85 percent live in Sub-Saharan Africa (556 million) or South Asia (532 million).
  • More than 67 percent live in middle-income countries.

But what is the day-to-day reality of life for multidimensionally poor people? The data paint a grim picture:

  • 1 billion each are exposed to solid cooking fuels, inadequate sanitation and substandard housing.
  • 788 million live in a household with at least one undernourished person. Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021
  • 568 million lack improved drinking water within a 30-minute roundtrip walk.

Indian Scenario

  • Scheduled Tribe group in India, which accounts for 9.4 percent of the population, is poorest. Out of 129 million people, 65 million are living in multidimensional poverty.
  • Out of 283 million scheduled caste group people, 94 million are living in multidimensional poverty.
  • In all, five out of six multidimensionally poor people live in households whose head is from a Scheduled Tribe, a Scheduled Caste or Other Backward Class (OBCs).

Back to basics

About Global Multidimensional Poverty Index:

  • MPI is produced /released annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.
  • The index shows the proportion of poor people and the average number of deprivations each poor person experiences at the same time.

MPI uses three dimensions and ten indicators:

  • Education: Years of schooling and child enrollment (1/6 weightage each, total 2/6)
  • Health: Child mortality and nutrition (1/6 weightage each, total 2/6)
  • Standard of living: Electricity, flooring, drinking water, sanitation, cooking fuel and assets (1/18 weightage each, total 2/6)
  • A person is multidimensionally poor if she/he is deprived in one third or more (means 33% or more) of the weighted indicators (out of the ten indicators).
  • Those who are deprived in one half or more of the weighted indicators are considered living in extreme multidimensional poverty.

Comparison with Human De­vel­op­ment Index (HDI)

  • HDI, the Human De­vel­op­ment Index, was de­vel­oped by Mah­bub ul Haq and Amartya Sen, in 1990, and was also de­vel­oped by the UNDP.
  • It is cal­cu­lated as the geo­met­ric mean of the nor­mal­ized in­dices of the three di­men­sions of human de­vel­op­ment; it takes into ac­count: health, ed­u­ca­tion and stan­dard of liv­ing. UNDP has a sep­a­rate ver­sion of the HDI named the IHDI (In­equal­ity-ad­justed HDI).
  • While both the HDI and the MPI use the 3 broad di­men­sions healthed­u­ca­tion and stan­dard of living, the HDI uses in­di­ca­tors at the ag­gre­gate level while MPI uses micro data and all in­di­ca­tors must come from the same sur­vey. This, amongst other rea­sons, has led to the MPI only being cal­cu­lated for just over 100 coun­tries, where data is avail­able for all these di­verse in­di­ca­tors, while HDI is cal­cu­lated for al­most all coun­tries.
  • How­ever, though HDI is thus more uni­ver­sally ap­plic­a­ble, its rel­a­tive spar­sity of in­di­ca­tors also makes it more sus­cep­ti­ble to bias. In­deed, some stud­ies have found it to be some­what bi­ased to­wards GDP per capita, as demon­strated by a high cor­re­la­tion be­tween HDI and the log of GDPpc. Hence, HDI has been crit­i­cized for ig­nor­ing other de­vel­op­ment pa­ra­me­ters.

Facts at a Glance: NITI Aayog as the nodal agency has been assigned the responsibility of leveraging the monitoring mechanism of the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) to drive reforms. Global MPI is part of Government of India’s decision to monitor the performance of the country in 29 select Global Indices. The objective of the “Global Indices to Drive Reforms and Growth (GIRG)” exercise is to fulfil the need to measure and monitor India’s performance on various important social and economic parameters and enable the utilisation of these Indices as tools for self-improvement, bring about reforms in policies, while improving last-mile implementation of government schemes.

Source; UNDP.ORG

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