Multidimensional Poverty Index - Full Form, Facts, Notes PDF

By Devyani Singh|Updated : July 11th, 2022

The Multidimensional Poverty Index is a method of measuring poverty by a multi-directional approach. It reflects the multiple deprivations that poor people face in the areas of education, health, and living standards. MPI is based on the idea that poverty is not unidimensional but rather multidimensional. The Index considers data from 109 countries.

MPI uses three dimensions and ten indicators to compile the MPI Index. The MPI Index was launched by the UNDP and the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) in 2010.

This article talks about the Multidimensional Poverty Index, its functions, indicators, and significance among other important facts from a UPSC IAS preparation viewpoint. This topic is significant under current affairs in both UPSC Prelims and Mains. 

Table of Content

What is the Multidimensional Poverty Index?

The Multidimensional Poverty Index is a medium to calculate poverty in all developing countries of the world. What makes MPI different is the multi-directional approach it follows for its calculations. This multilateral method is fuelled by MPI’s indicators that are varying. The need for a wider array of indicators has been felt as income is an insufficient factor to gauge poverty which is why the MPI is a great step forward. Acknowledgement gets us closer to the change we envisage in society.

The multidimensional Poverty Index was developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the year of 2010. These results are released annually and it comes under the UNPI’s Human Development Report (HDR).

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index is the report released by OPHI. Its national counterpart is released by the NITI Aayog namely National Multidimensional Poverty Index.

MPI was last released in September 2021 when India ranked 66 out of the 109 countries that are assessed in the survey. Nearly 1.3 billion people were found to be multidimensionally poor under this index.

☛ Download Global Multidimensional Poverty Index Notes

National Multidimensional Poverty Index

The National Multidimensional Poverty Index is India’s equivalent of the Global MPI. developed by the NITI Aayog, it uses the robust procedures followed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and the UNDP to determine the multidimensionality of poverty among the Indian masses.

Facts about the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

This table shall offer you a quick oversight of the topic and some facts about the global multidimensional poverty index.

Who releases the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index?


When is it released?

The index is released annually, usually in July. The MPI 2021 was released in September.

How many countries are under the index’s evaluation?

MPI 2021 judged 109 developing countries

State the 3 dimensions of Global MPI


Living Standards


India at the Global MPI 2021


Define MPI Value

The MPI value is the product of the incidence of poverty and the average of the shared deprivations.

How do you measure MPI?

Incidence of Poverty

Number of Poor

MPI Value

Intensity of Poverty

Indicators and Dimensions of Global MPI

The Global Multidimensional Index has a set of three dimensions which has a total of 10 indicators separated under it.

  • Health: Nutrition and child mortality
  • Education: Years of schooling and school attendance
  • Living Standards: Cooking oil, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, and assets

SDGs in Multidimensional Poverty Index

Along with the 3 dimensions and their further 10 indicators, there is another additional parameter that gets measured in the MPI, that is, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals, associated with 169 targets and 304 indicators.

Sustainable Development Goals are a set of universally agreed and set goals that all UN member states are expected to put to use while framing their policies and targets. These SDGs have been divided according to the dimensions and indicators they cover in the table below:





Child Mortality


SDG 2 – Zero Hunger

SDG 3 – Health and Well-Being

Living Standards

Cooking Oil


Drinking Water




SDG 1 – No Poverty

SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation

SDG 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities


School Attendance

Years of Schooling

SDG 4 – Quality Education

Measuring Deprivation using MPI’s indicators

According to the OPHI, there are a few points that lead an individual or their family towards deprivation. These points are stated below:

A household shall be considered deprived if a household has;

  • A malnourished individual within the age group of 0-70 years.
  • A child (0-18 years) who passed away 5 years before the MPI survey.
  • Not a single individual who has completed 6 years of schooling.
  • A child in their school-going years not attending school (upto an age where they should be attending class 8)
  • Solid fuels (cow dung, etc.) as cooking fuel
  • Poor, shared or unavailability of sanitation
  • Unavailability of accessible safe drinking water (should be at a distance that takes less than 30 minutes to cover)
  • No electricity
  • Inadequate housing materials (roof, walls, etc.)
  • No car and only have one of the following; Telephone
    • Computer
    • Radio
    • TV
    • Motorbike
    • Animal cart
    • Bicycle
    • Refrigerator

It is important to take note of the following regarding the Global MPI;

  • It is responsible for assessing poverty on an individual’s level.
  • The term ‘MPI Poor’ is used for an individual when he/she is found to be deprived of one-third of the 10 discussed above indicators.
  • The extent of the multidimensions of their poverty is assessed through the amount of deprivation they are going through.

Key Findings from Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021

The survey is conducted in more than 100 developing countries across the world. The year 2021 saw the participation of 109 countries in total. Here are the key findings from the global MPI 2021 survey:

  • There are nearly 1.3 billion people living in multidimensional poverty.
  • There are nearly 644 million people who are children out of the total of 1.3 billion and 105 million are old people (those above 60 years of age)
  • According to the demographical data, close to 85% of people are inhabitants of the Sahara Africa or South Asia. That is a whoopingly high number.
  • 84% of the recorded 1.3 billion people still continue to comprise the rural population.
  • More than 67% of the total multidimensionally poor lives in middle-income countries.
  • Nearly 481 million people live with a child that does not go to school.
  • 550 million people lack access to most assets, like, TVs, telephones, radio, computers, etc. Neither do they own a car.
  • About 568 million people do not have access to drinking water that has been improved (within 30 minutes of walking)
  • 635 million people are in households with no member who’s completed a minimum of six years of schooling.
  • 788 million people are in households with atleast one person who is undernourished.
  • 678 million people lack electricity in their households.
  • A whopping 1 billion people have households that still use cooking fuels that are solid, and lack basic sanitation and substantive housing.

India’s status in the Global MPI 2021

Intersectionality within our parameters has needed to exist for a while as intersectionality has existed in our society for long now. There are different layers to our societies that have different nexuses and to study them better we need tools like the multidimensional poverty index. It accurately captures the intensity and extent of poverty. The recent 2021 MPI survey conducted in India uncovered some facts;

  • Caste is an unavoidable social stratification of India that directly affects the lives of people. Every five out of six people poor people come from the lower tribes and castes. They are multidimensionally poor.
  • About 9.4% of Scheduled Tribes (STs) are multidimensionally poor.
  • Nearly 33.3% of the Scheduled Castes (SCs) are living in multidimensional poverty.
  • And, 27.2% of the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) live in multidimensional poverty.
  • Close to 12% of Indian households and female-led.

Changes Over Time- Global MPI

The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index introduced a new section called ‘Changes over Time’ that discussed the optimistic side of things. This section observed the increase in development and welfare of the multidimensionally poor and how the conditions have got a little less bleak over years.

  • Some areas have reported a significant reduction in poverty. The fastest changes were seen in Sierre Leone in the years 2013-17. They were followed by Togo in 2013/4-17.
  • Some countries even saw an absolute reduction in poverty, like the North-central area in Liberia in the years 2013–2019/2020 and Province 2 in Nepal in the years 2016–2019.

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index - UPSC Previous Year Question

Question: The Multi-dimensional Poverty Index developed by Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative with UNDP support covers which of the following? (UPSC 2012 Prelims)

  1. Deprivation of education, health, assets and services at the household level.
  2. Purchasing power parity at the national level.
  3. Extent of the budget deficit and GDP growth rate at the national level.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

Answer: A) 1 only

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index UPSC Notes PDF

Owing to its factual findings and relevance, the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index holds great significance in both the UPSC Prelims and UPSC Mains under the current affairs section. Candidates can refer to the latest magazines and blogs to stay up-to-date about the happenings of the world. You can also refer to the global MPI UPSC Notes. This article has been written keeping in line with the UPSC Exam pattern and UPSC Syllabus.

☛ Download Global Multidimensional Poverty Index UPSC Notes PDF

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FAQs about Multidimensional Poverty Index 

  • The Global multidimensional poverty index is a survey that quantifiably deduces the multifaceted aspect of poverty. It has 3 dimensions namely, health, education and living standards that cover 11 indicators- Nutrition, Child Mortality, Years of Schooling, School Attendance, Cooking Oil, Sanitation, Drinking Water, Electricity, Housing, and Assets. 

  • Some new indicators were added to the MPI of the year 2018. Nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, housing and assets were updated to match them with the SDGs.

  • The acute poverty as reflected by the MPI shows the deprivations of the households in 10 indicators. Extreme monetary poverty is measured by World Bank which captures those living on less than 1.90 US dollars a day.

  • The Sustainable Development Goals or Global Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 goals that are interlinked and globally intended. These were set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 with the objective of creating a ‘blueprint’ to attain a better future with sustainable and inclusive development. These were set to be achieved by the end of 2030. 

  • India stood 66 out of 109 countries in the Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021. 

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