Social Indicators Research

, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 277–303 | Cite as

A Multidimensional Poverty Index for Gauteng Province, South Africa: Evidence from Quality of Life Survey Data

  • Darlington MushongeraEmail author
  • Precious Zikhali
  • Phindile Ngwenya


This paper estimates a Multidimensional Poverty Index for Gauteng province of South Africa. The Alkire–Forster method is applied on Quality of Life survey data for 2011 and 2013 which offer an excellent opportunity for estimating poverty at smaller geographical areas. The results suggest that the Multidimensional Poverty Index for Gauteng is low but varies markedly by municipality and by ward, as well as across income groups. Not only are low income households more likely to be multidimensionally poor, they also suffer from higher intensities of poverty. Multidimensional poverty is highest in areas of low economic activity located on the edges of the province. However, pockets of multidimensional poverty do prevail even in better performing municipalities. Government, at all spheres, needs to devise policies that channel investments into lagging areas and avoid approaches that are indifferent to the heterogeneities that exist across localised geographical extents.


Multidimensional Poverty Index Headcount Intensity Quality of Life survey Gauteng South Africa 



The authors would like to acknowledge the invaluable review comments by Prof. Ingrid Woolard. Ingrid is a Professor in the School of Economics and a Research Associate of SALDRU at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She holds a Ph.D. in economics from UCT and is currently one of the Principal Investigators of the National Income Dynamics Study. A special thanks to participants of the 2015 Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) Summer School held at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. USA, who also gave us invaluable comments and suggestions for deepening our analysis. Special thanks to Samy Katumba, a Junior Researcher at GCRO for assisting with the GIS mapping.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO)JohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Poverty Programme of the World BankPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Macroeconomics and Fiscal ManagementWorld BankPretoriaSouth Africa

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