[Analysis] Inside the new way of measuring poverty in South Africa
There’s more to understanding a country’s poverty levels than merely calculating how much or how little individuals earn. That’s why a method called the multidimensional poverty index was introduced globally in 2011.
The multidimensional poverty index reflects aggregate levels derived from a number of socioeconomic indicators. These include education, health, standard of living and labour market activity. It unveiled new insights about the nature of poverty around the world.
South Africa had been watching with interest. In 2014, Statistics South Africa adopted the multidimensional poverty index into understanding the nature of the country’s poverty. The move produced the South African multidimensional poverty index (SAMPI).
Before this, the picture of the country’s poverty was mainly informed by the money-metric approach, which examines the proportion of the population with income below the minimum level required for survival (poverty line).