OPHI-Multi Dimensional Poverty Index (MPI): Child Poverty a Concern as globally almost half of all poor are children



  • Globally half of all ‘multidimensionally poor’ people – 48% – are children.
  • Nearly two out of every five children globally  – 37% – are multidimensionally poor.
  • In terms of absolute numbers 689 million children are living in multidimensional poverty.
  • 87% of these 689 million poor children are growing up in South Asia and in Sub-Saharan Africa – roughly equal numbers in each region.
  • Half of South Asia’s children and two-thirds of Sub-Saharan children are multidimensionally poor.
  • About 31% of the world’s “multidimensionally poor” children live in India

These estimates are from a report published by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), a poverty reduction project which takes multidimensionality of poverty into account by considering a number of deprivations unlike income poverty measures. The report clearly shows that as compared to adults more number of children are reeling under poverty across the world.

Report defines a “multidimensionally poor” child as one who experiences 33% or more of the deprivations identified by the index. These are ten deprivations categorized into three categories of Health, Education  and standard of living. The health dimension comprises indicators such as nutrition, child mortality and education comprises of Years of Schooling, School Attendance while Standard of Living has 5 indicators which are Cooking Fuel,  Improved Sanitation, Safe Drinking Water, Electricity, Flooring and Asset Ownership.

This disaggregated data on poverty should serve as a call to action to policy makers and Governments to focus on children in poverty alleviation efforts as globally, 18,000 children still die each day from poverty-related causes. It  is all the more important to address child poverty since otherwise it will be difficult to achieve the target 1.2 of SDG 1 which says that by 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions.


Disclaimer: The views expressed are solely those of author in the private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of employer.



About farrukh2016

Farrukh Shah is a passionate knowledge management professional in development sector. He loves to read and write on development issues. He believes in the power of knowledge and action to bring a lasting change in the lives of most vulnerable among us.
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