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Multidimensional Poverty Measure

The World Bank

What is the Multidimensional Poverty Measure?

  • • An index that measures the percentage of households in a country deprived along three dimensions –monetary poverty, education, and basic infrastructure services – to capture a more complete picture of poverty
  • • A means to capture the complexity of poverty that considers dimensions of well-being beyond just monetary poverty.

The Multidimensional Poverty Measure (MPM) seeks to understand poverty beyond monetary deprivations (which remain the focal point of the World Bank’s monitoring of global poverty) by including access to education and basic infrastructure along with the monetary headcount ratio at the $2.15 international poverty line.

The World Bank’s measure takes inspiration and guidance from other prominent global multidimensional measures, particularly the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Oxford University, but includes monetary poverty less than $2.15 per day, the international poverty line at 2017 PPP (Purchasing Power Parity), as one of the dimensions. Under this broader definition of poverty, many more people come into view as poor.

While monetary poverty is strongly correlated with deprivations in other domains, this correlation is far from perfect. The Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2022 report (World Bank, 2022) shows that almost 4 out of 10 multidimensionally poor individuals (39 percent) are not captured by monetary poverty, as they are deprived in nonmonetary dimensions alone. A country’s MPM is at least as high as or higher than monetary poverty, reflecting the additional role of nonmonetary dimensions to poverty and their importance to general well-being. Deprivations in nonmonetary dimensions like access to schooling and basic infrastructure, compound poverty and perpetuate cycles of inequality. Securing higher living standards for a population becomes more challenging when poverty in all its forms is considered, but it can provide policymakers with a roadmap for and a means of monitoring improvements in welfare.

Explore the latest Multidimensional Poverty (MPM) data  

The November 2023 update presents the 6th edition of the World Bank’s Multidimensional Poverty Measure (MPM). The latest data provides estimates for 121 economies in the GMD circa 2018, revising estimates published in April 2023.  The global and regional MPM headcount remains unchanged from the previous edition, however the share of population experiencing deprivations by dimension has changed slightly, reflecting updates to underlying survey data in some countries.

Learn more about the MPM methodology and the latest edition of the database in this   What’s New brief.

Download the latest data on the multidimensional poverty measure

(available in .pdf and .xlsx).

Download historical MPM data

All historical spells

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Interactive dashboards for visualizing the latest MPM data and exploring MPM with different weights and deprivation thresholds

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 Dimensions, Weights, and Parameters

MonetaryDaily consumption or income is less than $ 2.15 per person.1/3
EducationAt 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 infrastructureThe 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?

The global multidimensional poverty headcount ratio for circa 2018 was 14.5 percent, nearly double the monetary poverty measure of 8.8 percent. In line with past MPM editions, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia remain hotspots for multidimensional and monetary poverty. In Sub-Saharan Africa, half of the population (52 percent) experiences multidimensional poverty, significantly exceeding the global average, and nearly double the monetary poverty in the region. In South-Asia, 17 percent of the population classify as multidimensionally poor, however these results should be interpreted with caution given the low population coverage in the region.

Table 2 displays the share of population deprived in each MPM indicator. Compared to the 5th edition of the MPM, there are slight changes (less than one percent on average) in the share of population experiencing deprivations by indicator, reflecting updates to underlying survey data in some countries.[1] Globally, inadequate access to sanitation stands out as the most common deprivation, affecting nearly a quarter (23.2 percent) of the population. This is particularly acute in Sub-Saharan Africa, where two thirds of the population lack basic sanitation access (65.6 percent). Educational attainment (12.6 percent) and access to electricity (12.1 percent) are the most common deprivations globally after sanitation.


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





South Asia





Sub-Saharan Africa





Rest of the World





All regions





Source: Global Monitoring Database, November 2023. 

Note: The monetary headcount is based on the international poverty line of $2.15. Regional and total estimates are population-weighted averages of survey-year estimates for 121 economies and are not comparable to the monetary poverty measures presented in PIP. 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. 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 multidimensional poverty data is available for India between 2014 and 2021. 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 is 50.24 percent (also see annex 1A of World Bank, 2020).


[1] Countries with updated data include Australia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), The Gambia, Iran

Israel, South Korea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, United States. These changes are due to survey revisions and updates in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries to improve the welfare measurements, and to updates in the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), which is used to draw welfare data in several high-income countries. See Aron et al. 2023 for more information on these changes. 

The Team

The Multidimensional Poverty Measure was created by the Global Poverty Working Group (GPWG), an interdisciplinary technical working group established to improve the quality and frequency of poverty and inequality data, comprising members from the Poverty and Equity Global Practice and the Development Economics Vice Presidency Data Group (DECDG) and Research Group (DECRG). 

Citation and Attribution:

When using the Multidimensional Poverty Measure, please cite as: Multidimensional Poverty Measure database (6th edition, circa 2018), World Bank, Washington, DC. 2023

Data Source

The Global Monitoring Database (GMD) is the World Bank’s repository of multitopic income and expenditure household surveys used to monitor global poverty and shared prosperity. The household survey data are typically collected by national statistical offices in each country, and then compiled, processed, and harmonized. The process is coordinated by the Data for Goals (D4G) team and supported by the six regional statistics teams in the Poverty and Equity Global Practice. The Global Poverty & Inequality Data Team (GPID) in the Development Economics Data Group (DECDG) also contributes historical data from before 1990 and recent survey data from the Luxemburg Income Study (LIS). Selected variables have been harmonized to the extent possible such that levels and trends in poverty and other key sociodemographic attributes can be compared across and within countries over time. The GMD’s harmonized microdata are currently used in the Poverty and Inequality Platform (PIP), the World Bank’s Multidimensional Poverty Measure (MPM), the Global Database of Shared Prosperity (GDSP), and Poverty and Shared Prosperity Reports. Additional information on the latest country data can be found in Castaneda et al., 2022.

Last Updated: Dec 19, 2023