What happened to multidimensional poverty in South Africa between 1993 and 2010?
Arden Finn (),
Murray Leibbrandt and
Ingrid Woolard ()
No 99, SALDRU Working Papers from Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town
Gauging levels of welfare using data on income and expenditure is informative yet limited and can be enhanced by including non-money-metric measures. Nationally representative data sets from 1993 and 2010-2011 which cover a broad set of domains are used to calculate a multidimensional poverty index (MPI) for each year. This paper calculates these indices and uses them to assess trends in multidimensional poverty in South Africa over the post-apartheid period. From 1993 to 2010 MPI poverty fell by 29 percentage points from 37% to 8%. During this time period, the level of severe MPI poverty also dropped substantially from 17% of the population in 1993 to just over 1% in 2010. Not only did the incidence and intensity of multidimensional poverty fall significantly, but the average distance from the multidimensional poverty line across all dimensions also decreased over the period. These declines in multidimensional poverty are notably stronger than the estimated declines in money-metric poverty, which are also estimated and compared for the post-apartheid period.
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