Multidimensional poverty measurement in Europe: An application of the adjusted headcount approach

Date: 17 April 2014

As awareness of the limitations of relying solely on income to measure poverty has become more widespread, attention has been increasingly focused on multi-dimensional approaches, to the point where the European Union (EU) has adopted a multidimensional poverty and social exclusion target for 2020. The rationale advanced is that the computation of a multidimensional poverty index is an effective way of communicating in a political environment, and a necessary tool in order to monitor 27 different national situations. In contrast with the rather ad hoc way in which the EU 2020 poverty target has been framed and rationalized, the adjusted head count ratio applied here has a number of desirable axiomatic properties. It constitutes a significant improvement on union and intersection approaches and allows for the decomposition of multidimensional poverty in terms of dimensions of deprivation and socio-economic attributes.

Brian Nolan Christopher T. Whelan Bertrand Maître

Employment, Equity and Growth

Multidimensional poverty measurement in Europe: An application of the adjusted headcount approach


Type: paper

Whelan, C.T., Nolan, B. and Maître, B. (2014) 'Multidimensional poverty measurement in Europe: An application of the adjusted headcount approach'. Journal of European Social Policy, 24 (2), 183-197.


View Document