1 in 3 Children in Poor: The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2020

1 in 3 children is poor, compared with 1 in 6 adults. In almost every country of the world, more children live in multi-dimensional poverty, in relation to all other groups of society. 

Multidimensional poverty means deprivations across several facets of life, and not just income poverty. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) looks beyond income to understand how people experience poverty in multiple and simultaneous ways. It identifies how people are being left behind across three key dimensions: health, education and standard of living. In addition, Goal 1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to end poverty in all its forms and dimensions. The global MPI therefore offers a tool to gauge and make progress towards this goal. 

The 2020 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) shows that half of the multi-dimensionally poor people are children under the age of 18. This means that the level and rate of children experiencing multi-dimensional poverty is higher than all other groups of society, all across the world.

The 2020 global MPI compares acute multi-dimensional poverty for 107 countries in developing regions. These countries are home to 5.9 billion people, three quarters of the world’s population. Of this population, 1.3 billion people (that is, 22%) have been identified by the global MPI as multi-dimensionally poor, with Sub-Saharan Africa showing the worst levels of this multidimensional poverty.

The MPI and its corresponding reports, therefore give information and tools to Arigatou International—End Child Poverty, and other actors, in combating this problem. 

Produced by the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report Office (UNDP HDRO), the global MPI 2020 report provides a detailed image of who is poor and how they are poor. This 2020 global MPI report, “Charting pathways out of multidimensional poverty: Achieving the SDGs“, was released on 16 July 2020, and is available on both the OPHI website and the UNDP website.

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