The measurement of poverty should include dimensions of well-being that cannot be measured in monetary terms. Data on health, education and standards of living can be used to calculate a so-called Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). Results suggest that both the prevalence and the intensity of multidimensional poverty fell significantly from 1993 to 2010. The decline in multidimensional poverty is much greater than the decline in poverty as measured in terms of income and/or expenditure. Better social services and infrastructure have played a large role.
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Written by Arden Finn, Researcher, SALDRU, University of Cape Town; Murray Leibbrandt, Professor, School of Economics and Director: SALDRU, University of Cape Town; and Ingrid Woolard, Associate Professor, School of Economics, University of Cape Town.
This article was first published on the Econ3x3 website – Accessible policy-relevant research and expert commentaries on unemployment and employment, income distribution and inclusive growth in South Africa.