Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Global poverty could be up to a third higher than reported

Date:
April 10, 2014
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
With over one billion people in the world living on less than $1.25 per day, the World Bank aims to end 'extreme poverty' by 2030. But new research suggests that global poverty figures could be underestimated by up to a third, and calls for more robust measurement in the future. The World Bank figures are widely used by the international community and play a significant role in international strategies to reduce poverty.

With over one billion people in the world living on less than $1.25 per day, the World Bank aims to end 'extreme poverty' by 2030. But new research suggests that global poverty figures could be underestimated by up to a third, and calls for more robust measurement in the future.

Related Articles


The World Bank figures are widely used by the international community and play a significant role in international strategies to reduce poverty. Critics argue that its estimates are flawed because the 'dollar a day' poverty line is too arbitrary, and insufficiently anchored to any specification of basic human needs.

Researchers at the University of Bristol looked at those living on the Pacific island state of Vanuatu, taking into account not just their finances but also shelter, sanitization, water, information, nutrition, health and education to build up a more comprehensive picture of poverty, deprivation and inequality.

The study, published today in the Journal of Sociology, concludes that the World Bank is reporting a 'rosy' picture because the poverty line is set too low due to its narrow definition.

The research was carried out with colleagues at the Australian National University, University of New South Wales, UNICEF Pacific and the Vanuatu National Statistics Office, with funding from UNICEF Pacific and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The findings come amidst considerable controversy surrounding the international 'dollar a day' measure used to monitor progress against the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals and the future direction of the post-2015 development agenda. The 'dollar a day' measure has been increased to $1.25, which is the equivalent of 75p.

The study found that five per cent of all children in Vanuatu live in poverty, as defined by the international 'dollar a day' measure. But a much greater proportion (17 per cent) live in poverty defined by the national food and basic needs poverty line; and absolute poverty, where people are deprived of two or more basic human needs, affects 16 per cent of children.

Dr Christopher Deeming, from Bristol University's School of Geographical Sciences, said: "Our findings suggest that the current international poverty line of a dollar a day seriously underestimates global poverty levels. In the context of Vanuatu, our triangulated results suggest under¬estimation of poverty by at least a third in the population aged 17 years or under.

"If the World Bank had in fact used a poverty line grounded in basic needs, rather than its present artificial one which only looks at one monetary measure, the total number of poor people in the world would increase substantially, perhaps by as much as 30 per cent.

"It shows that measurement issues are extremely important and that different approaches can have a substantial impact on the level of poverty and deprivation measured and identified. We hope these findings will be taken into account in the future to ensure more robust analysis is carried out to give a clear picture of the social and economic challenges facing developing countries."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. Deeming, B. Gubhaju. The mis-measurement of extreme global poverty: A case study in the Pacific Islands. Journal of Sociology, 2014; DOI: 10.1177/1440783314523867

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Global poverty could be up to a third higher than reported." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410194646.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2014, April 10). Global poverty could be up to a third higher than reported. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410194646.htm
University of Bristol. "Global poverty could be up to a third higher than reported." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140410194646.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) — The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins