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The multidimensional character of poverty becomes clear and a special effort has been made to include non-Western approaches and concepts with a view to facilitating comparative poverty studies.

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Spicker's final chapter is a masterly review of the subject. A biologist and geologist by background, his interest in anti-poverty research and policy first emerged while he was working on securing safe public water supplies in the South Pacific. He has published extensively on the scientific measurement of poverty; regionally specific anti-poverty measures and policy; and the effects of poverty on illhealth, childhood disability, housing and rural livelihoods.

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  • Analysis of some 20 countries for which income and consumption expenditure data were both available from the same surveys found income to yield a higher mean than consumption but also higher inequality. When poverty measures based on consumption and income were compared, the two effects roughly cancelled each other out: there was no significant statistical difference. Development relevance The World Bank Group is committed to reducing extreme poverty to 3 percent or less, globally, by Monitoring poverty is important on the global development agenda as well as on the national development agenda of many countries.

    The World Bank produced its first global poverty estimates for developing countries for World Development Report Poverty World Bank using household survey data for 22 countries Ravallion, Datt, and van de Walle Since then there has been considerable expansion in the number of countries that field household income and expenditure surveys. The World Bank's Development Research Group maintains a database that is updated annually as new survey data become available and thus may contain more recent data or revisions and conducts a major reassessment of progress against poverty every year.

    Poverty : An International Glossary

    The Poverty and Equity Data portal provides access to the database and user-friendly dashboards with graphs and interactive maps that visualize trends in key poverty and inequality indicators for different regions and countries. The country dashboards display trends in poverty measures based on the national poverty lines alongside the internationally comparable estimates, produced from and consistent with PovcalNet.


    Limitations and exceptions Despite progress in the last decade, the challenges of measuring poverty remain. The timeliness, frequency, quality, and comparability of household surveys need to increase substantially, particularly in the poorest countries. The availability and quality of poverty monitoring data remains low in small states, countries with fragile situations, and low-income countries and even some middle-income countries. The low frequency and lack of comparability of the data available in some countries create uncertainty over the magnitude of poverty reduction.

    Besides the frequency and timeliness of survey data, other data quality issues arise in measuring household living standards. The surveys ask detailed questions on sources of income and how it was spent, which must be carefully recorded by trained personnel.


    Income is generally more difficult to measure accurately, and consumption comes closer to the notion of living standards. And income can vary over time even if living standards do not.

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    • But consumption data are not always available: the latest estimates reported here use consumption data for about two-thirds of countries. However, even similar surveys may not be strictly comparable because of differences in timing or in the quality and training of enumerators. Comparisons of countries at different levels of development also pose a potential problem because of differences in the relative importance of the consumption of nonmarket goods.

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      The local market value of all consumption in kind including own production, particularly important in underdeveloped rural economies should be included in total consumption expenditure but may not be. Most survey data now include valuations for consumption or income from own production, but valuation methods vary. While income distribution data are published for all countries with data available, poverty data are published for low- and middle-income countries and countries eligible to receive loans from the World Bank such as Chile and recently graduated countries such as Estonia only.

      The aggregated numbers for low- and middle-income countries correspond to the totals of 6 regions in PovcalNet, which include low- and middle-income countries and countries eligible to receive loans from the World Bank such as Chile and recently graduated countries such as Estonia. World Development Indicators was updated on September 27, Jobs was updated on September 27, Gender Statistics was updated on September 25,