Methodology and Usage
The data for the MPM is derived from harmonized surveys in the World Bank’s Global Monitoring Database. The latest estimates for the world are available for circa 2018, using household survey data collected within a three-year window between 2015 to 2021.
The MPM is composed of six indicators: consumption or income, educational attainment, educational enrollment, drinking water, sanitation, and electricity. These are mapped into three dimensions of well-being: monetary, education, and basic infrastructure services.
The three MPM dimensions are weighted equally, and within each dimension each indicator is also weighted equally. Individuals are considered multidimensionally deprived if they fall short of the threshold in at least one dimension or in a combination of indicators equivalent in weight to a full dimension. (See Table1). In other words, households will be considered poor if they are deprived in indicators whose weight adds up to 1/3 or more. Because the monetary dimension is measured using only one indicator, anyone who is income poor is automatically also poor under the multidimensional poverty measure.
Table 1. Multidimensional Poverty Measure Indicators and Weights
|Monetary||Daily consumption or income is less than $ 2.15 per person.||1/3|
|Education||At least one school-age child up to the age of grade 8 is not enrolled in school.||1/6|
| ||No adult in the household (age of grade 9 or above) has completed primary education.||1/6|
|Access to basic infrastructure||The household lacks access to limited-standard drinking water.||1/9|
The household lacks access to limited-standard sanitation.
| ||The household has no access to electricity.||1/9|
Source: World Bank, 2020
Summarizing the information on the different deprivations into a single index proves useful in making comparisons across populations and across time. However, any aggregation of indicators into a single index always involves a decision on how each indicator is to be weighted.
Not all countries have current and comparable data on all the above dimensions, making it challenging to construct a multidimensional poverty measure, especially at the global level. More details on the methodology of the MPM are available here.
What does multidimensional poverty look like around the world?
At a global level, the share of the poor is 64 percent higher when education and basic infrastructure are added alongside monetary poverty — from 8.8 percent living below $2.15 per day to 14.5 percent. By comparing the monetary poverty dimension with indicators from other dimensions, it is possible to form a picture of how many multidimensionally poor are not captured by monetary poverty, as well as which indicator deprivations most affect well-being in the different regions (See Table 2). Indeed, almost four out of 10 (39 percent) multidimensionally poor persons are not captured by monetary poverty because they are deprived in nonmonetary dimensions alone.
Table 2. Monetary and Multidimensional Poverty Headcount, by Region and the World, circa 2018
Monetary poverty, headcount ratio (%)
Multidimensional poverty, headcount ratio (%)
Number of economies
Population coverage (%)a
East Asia and Pacific
Europe and Central Asia
Latin America and the Caribbean
Middle East and North Africa
Rest of the World
Source: Global Monitoring Database, April 2023.
Note: The monetary headcount is based on the international poverty line $2.15. Regional and total estimates are population-weighted averages of survey-year estimates for 123 economies and are not comparable to the monetary poverty measures presented in the PIP (Poverty and Inequality Platform). The multidimensional poverty measure headcount indicates the share of the population in each region defined as multidimensionally poor. Number of economies is the number of economies in each region for which information is available in the window between 2015 and 2021, for a circa 2018 reporting year. The coverage rule applied to the estimates is identical to that used for the World Bank’s global monetary poverty measures (e.g., see annex 1A of World Bank, 2020). Regions without sufficient population coverage are shown in light grey.
a. Data coverage differs across regions. The data cover as much as 89 percent of the population in Europe & Central Asia and as little as 22 percent of the population in South Asia. The coverage for South Asia is low because no household survey is available for India between 2014 and 2018. Due to the absence of data on China and India, the regional coverage of South Asia and East Asia and Pacific is insufficient.
b. The table conforms to both coverage criteria used for the global poverty estimate. The global population coverage for low-income and lower-middle-income countries are both 51 percent (also see annex 1A of World Bank, 2020).