JED, Vol. 20, No.1, April 2018, pp. 48-67
Multidimensional Poverty among Households in Southwest Nigeria
Abstract:Money metrics have been adopted in studies of household poverty in Nigeria while few have
considered alternative methods. This study analysed poverty among households in southwest
Nigeria adopting a “Multidimensional Approach”. This is necessary for robust and effective
policy. Data were collected from 355 randomly selected households. Alkire-Foster’s methodology
was used to assess households’ poverty and this was further decomposed. The majority of the
households lacked improved toilet facilities, sanitation, improved drinking water, nearness to
healthcare centres and primary schools, while most households engaged in self-medication.
About 7.9 percent were deprived in all the eleven indicators considered. The Multidimensional
Headcount Ratio (H) when cut-off (k) was set at 1/3 revealed that 69% of the households were
poor and its Intensity (A) was 65% while the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), which is the
Adjusted Head Count Ratio (M0) revealed that an average household in the area was deprived
of 45% of the total potential deprivations it could experience. Decomposition by socioeconomic
characteristics revealed that the poverty rate was higher among female-headed households.
The same applied to households headed by divorced individuals, younger persons, farmers, less
educated individuals and larger households. When k=2/3, 44.2 percent of the households were
classified as poor with an “A” value of 0.416 and the MPI being 0.184. At k=1 the percentage of
poor households reduced significantly to 7.9 percent with an intensity value of 0.074 and MPI of
0.006. It is recommended that government should improve access to education, health care and
enforce various sanitation laws to improve households’ hygiene. Policies should also be geared
towards empowering households in order to escape poverty.
Keywords:Poverty; deprivation; households; multidimensional approach; Nigeria