Assessing trends in multidimensional poverty during the MDGs

Francesco Burchi, Daniele Malerba, Claudio E. Montenegro & Nicole Rippin


While we have extensive information on the trends in income poverty, little is known about the trends in multidimensional poverty. This paper tries to fill this gap by assessing the changes in multidimensional poverty in 55 countries since 2000. The analysis relies on two individual-based indices, the G-CSPI and the G-M0, which combine three dimensions – education, health and employment – derived through the Constitutional Approach. The G-CSPI is a distribution-sensitive index, while the G-M0 allows decomposition by dimension. The results reveal that more than 80% of the countries assessed have reduced multidimensional poverty. However, progress has been very limited in Sub-Saharan Africa. Different decomposition analyses indicate that poverty alleviation has mainly been triggered by a reduction in health deprivations and by improvements in rural areas. A comparison with changes in income poverty suggests that the correlation is not strong, and that multidimensional poverty has decreased significantly less than income poverty.


Poverty trends, multidimensional poverty, poverty measurement, development economics, comparative analysis

View/Download options

You will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat (downloadable from Adobe) to view PDF file(s). PDF files open in a new window.