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U.N. Estimate of Global Poverty Runs Short By 400 Million

Ashley Yang |
June 22, 2014 | 9:54 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The MPI proposes a more nuanced model of global poverty. (Russavia, Wikimedia Commons)
The MPI proposes a more nuanced model of global poverty. (Russavia, Wikimedia Commons)
On Tuesday, the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) released a report that redefined poverty (via The Atlantic). 

The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2014 (MPI) has been named the most accurate reflection of the world’s poor, supplanting the U.N. Development Programme’s Human Poverty Index (HPI), which has measured world poverty for over a decade.

Instead of viewing poverty solely through the lens of a person’s daily earnings (less than $1.25 to be poor under HPI standards), the MPI measured “deprivations,” or deficiencies in quality of life. If a person is deprived of three of ten needs corresponding to health, education, or living conditions, he/she is considered poor. 

The MPI has also mapped poverty at a more detailed level by differentiating degrees of poverty within a country, rather than treating each country as one whole mass like the HPI. 

Using these new methods, the MPI has found that poverty affects 1.6 million people, 400 million greater than the 1.2 million figure produced by the HPI. 

Although disheartening, this figure sheds greater insight on where poverty is located and to what extent the global poor are lacking in the different indicators of quality of life. 

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