World poverty is shrinking rapidly, new Oxford University's Poverty and Human Development Initiative index reveals
Some of the poorest people in the world are becoming significantly less poor, according to a groundbreaking academic study which has taken a new approach to measuring deprivation. The report, by Oxford University's Poverty and Human Development Initiative, predicts that countries among the most impoverished in the world could see acute poverty eradicated within 20 years if they continue at present rates. The study of the world's poorest one billion people uses a new measure, the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) which uses ten indicators to calculate poverty, including nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling and attendance, cooking fuel, water, sanitation, electricity assets and a covered floor. The system was developed in 2010 by the institute's director, Dr Sabina Alkire, and Dr Maria Emma Santos. Dr Alkire said: "As poor people worldwide have said, poverty is more than money – it is ill health, it is food insecurity, it is not having work, or experiencing violence and humiliation, or not having health care, electricity, or good housing”. The study found that in 2013 a total of 1.6 billion people are living in "multidimensional" poverty. The poorest one billion live in 100 countries. Most of the bottom billion live in South Asia, with India home to 40%, followed by sub-Saharan Africa with 33%. The report also found that 9.5% of the bottom billion poor people lived in developed, upper middle-income countries.