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Identifying the poorest people and groups: Strategies using the global multidimensional poverty index

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Sabina Alkire, Jose Manuel Roche, Suman Seth, Andrew Sumner

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-387
Number of pages26
JournalJournal Of International Development
Issue number3
Published1 Apr 2015

King's Authors


If development is about poverty reduction, then where the poorest live is an important question. This paper seeks to answer this question using an internationally comparable multidimensional poverty index (MPI) to identify the poor using household surveys across more than a hundred countries. We compare three criteria to identifying the bottom billion: (i) the billion living in the poorest countries; (ii) the billion living in the poorest subnational regions and (iii) the poorest billion according to the intensity of their deprivations. Although there are commonalities across the results based on these three criteria, they produce notably different findings that are relevant to the discussions of sustainable development goals.

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