Where Do the World's Multidimensionally Poor People Live?

OPHI Working Paper No. 61

32 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2013

See all articles by Sabina Alkire

Sabina Alkire

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative

Jose Roche

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative

Andy Sumner

King's College, University of London - King’s International Development Institute

Date Written: March 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper asks where do the world’s multidimensionally poor people live? The paper considers how the global distribution of multidimensional poverty differs from the global distribution of income poverty and assesses the sensitivity of findings to widely used (although somewhat arbitrary) country classifications. Surprisingly perhaps, only a quarter of multidimensionally poor people and just one-third of severely multidimensionally poor people live in the world’s poorest countries -– meaning Low Income Countries (LICs) or Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The sensitivity of findings about country thresholds for low and middle-income countries is discussed. The paper argues that there is a split of distribution poverty between both stable Middle Income Countries (MICs) and low-income fragile states, and that there is a "multidimensional bottom billion" living in stable MICs. The analysis is based on 83 countries, and uses the 2011 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) poverty estimates of the UNDP Human Development Report.

Keywords: multidimensional poverty, MICs, LDCs, MPI

JEL Classification: I32

Suggested Citation

Alkire, Sabina and Roche, Jose and Sumner, Andy, Where Do the World's Multidimensionally Poor People Live? (March 1, 2013). OPHI Working Paper No. 61, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2292915 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2292915

Sabina Alkire (Contact Author)

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative ( email )

Queen Elizabeth House
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

Jose Roche

Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative ( email )

Queen Elizabeth House (QEH)
3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

Andy Sumner

King's College, University of London - King’s International Development Institute ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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