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Household‐level poverty, consumption poverty thresholds, income inequality and quality of lives in sub‐Saharan Africa

Davidmac O. Ekeocha and Chimere O. Iheonu

African Development Review, 2021, vol. 33, issue 2, 234-248

Abstract: Poverty and income inequality are the twin greatest menaces in sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA) with significant prevalence. This study decomposed their significance and probabilities in determining the quality of life (QOL) of individuals and households in SSA while controlling for household demographics. The household‐level poverty (HLP) index and the indexes for QOL indicators were constructed from the national demographic and health surveys (DHS) for SSA countries. Data on consumption poverty thresholds and income inequality are from the global consumption and income project (GCIP) over 1985–2015. Findings reveal that, while the HLP index elicits more rural poverty across regions, consumption poverty thresholds are more urbanized and persistent across regions, except for Central Africa. The results for income inequality were found to be Gini −0.4396 and Atkinson index −0.4437, and more urbanized across regions. Furthermore, we found that SSA has made giant strides towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs) 6 and 3 but no information on the quality of healthcare. However, abysmal likelihoods exist for SDGs 4, 7 and 8 in SSA. Similarly, abysmal probabilities were also found for households’ access to adequate housing, a good environment and insurance coverage. Indeed, SDG‐4 is more significant for achieving SDG‐8. HLP stand as a significant bottleneck to achieving SDG‐7 and adequate housing, while income inequality mars SDG‐3 targets and sustainable environmental conditions in SSA. Policy options are discussed.

Date: 2021
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