University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index: An Application to the United States

In this paper we estimate a multi-dimensional poverty index (US-MPI) in the United States. Measuring poverty using multiple dimensions of deprivation provides a more complete picture of poverty. The US-MPI measures simultaneous deprivations experienced in multiple dimensions of well-being: health, education, income and housing. We use data on eight different indicators from the American Community Survey, and estimate the US-MPI across different regions, age, gender and race. Our estimates indicate that in 2011, one in five adult American’s were multidimensional poor. Lack of health insurance and severe housing burden were two significant indicators of deprivation.


Poverty Measurement, U.S. Poverty Measures