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Multidimensional Poverty among Nigerian Households: Sustainable Development Implications

Abstract

Nigeria currently has the highest number of people living on less than USD1.90 a day, becoming what some analysts labeled “the poverty capital of the world.“ This article explores the multiple dimensions and predictors of household poverty in Nigeria using the 2018 Demographic and Health Survey data (n = 40,427). Results from Chi-square analysis indicate significant regional disparities in multidimensional poverty, which is endemic in the Northwest and Northeast regions that constitute 75.3% of Nigeria’s poorest households, 62.3% of household heads without formal education, and about half (49.7%) of households lacking access to electricity. Logistic regression results show that access to electricity is the most significant predictor of poverty in Nigeria, with an odds ratio (OR) of 10.46, followed by education (OR = 1.99), place of residence (OR = 0.37), land ownership (OR = 0.58), livestock ownership (0.57), number of bedrooms (1.32), and gender (0.73). Other significant predictors are drinking water sources, sanitation facilities, cooking fuel, and housing conditions. Reducing multidimensional poverty requires improving electricity supply and human development interventions in education, water, sanitation, and healthcare, targeting deprived households. These are essential for achieving sustainable development.

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Acknowledgements

The author gratefully acknowledges the DHS Program for providing the 2018 Nigeria DHS dataset used in this study.

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This study did not receive any funding support.

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Correspondence to Ismaila Rimi Abubakar.

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Appendices

Appendix A: Summary of reviewed country-level studies on MP in developing countries

Author Country Objective Method Key poverty indicators
Pasha (2017) 28 developing countries Assess MP using an alternative weighting scheme Multiple correspondence analysis Education, child mortality, water, sanitation, housing, electricity
Batana (2013) 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa Measure MP among women Alkire–Foster Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) Education, water, sanitation, electricity, assets, floor material, body-mass index (BMI)
Santos & Villatoro (2018). 17 Latin American countries Develop and measure MPI for Latin America, 2005–2012 MPI for Latin America Housing, water, sanitation, education, employment, assets, energy, social protection
Duclos et al., (2006) Ghana, Madagascar, and Uganda. Compare MP among three African countries Bivariate stochastic dominance techniques Expenditure and health (child stunting)
Achia et al., (2010) Kenya Assess poverty determinants Principal Components Analysis (PCA) Drinking water, education, and cooking fuel
Habyarimana et al., (2015) Rwanda Assess the household socio-economic status PCA Water, sanitation, housing, cooking fuel, assets ownership
Stoeffler et al., (2016) Zimbabwe Explore changes in MP, 2001–2012 Alkire–Foster MPI Education, health, housing, employment, water, cooking fuel, assets.
Rogan (2016) South Africa Measure the gender-poverty gap among households Global MPI Education, mortality nutrition, water, electricity, sanitation, cooking fuel, assets.
Hanandita & Tampubolon (2016) Indonesia Examine MP trend, 2003–2013 Alkire–Foster MPI and Spearman correlation Income, morbidity, education
Yu (2013) China Estimate MP prevalence, 2000–2009 Alkire–Foster MPI Income, education, BMI, living standard, social security
Padda & Hameed (2018) Rural Pakistan Estimate MP levels in rural areas PCA Water, sanitation, housing, rural living, energy source
Alkire and Seth (2015) India Analyze the changes in MP, 1999–2006 Global MPI Education, water, sanitation, electricity, assets, mortality, nutrition, cooking fuel
Ajakaiye et al., (2016) Nigeria Examine MP using five deprivation indicators First-order dominance method Education, water, sanitation, shelter, electricity
Adepoju (2018) Rural Nigeria Examine MP transitions among rural households, 2010–2012 Alkire–Foster MPI and Logistic regression Education, housing, water sanitation, health, assets
Adeoti (2014) Rural Nigeria Investigate household poverty levels, 2004–2010 Logit regression Education, housing, sanitation, health, assets

Appendix B. Descriptive statistics of study variables

Variables Description Min Max Mean SD
Wealth index 1 = poorest, 2 = poorer, 3 = middle, 4 = richer and 5 = richest 1 5 3.042 1.375
Gender of household head 1 = Male, 2 = Female 1 2 1.191 0.393
Age of household head Continuous variable 15 98 45.749 15.766
Ethnicity of household head 1 = Hausa, 2 = Yoruba, 3 = Igbo, and 4 = other 1 4 3.062 0.961
Household size Continuous variable 1 37 4.651 3.175
Total number of rooms Continuous variable 1 24 2.217 1.437
Place of residency 1 = urban, 2 = rural 1 2 1.585 0.493
Geopolitical region 1 = North-central, 2 = Northeast, 3 = Northwest, 4 = Southeast,
5 = South-south, 6 = Southwest.
1 6 3.441 1.734
State 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT 1 37 19.081 10.733
Highest education level 0 = no formal education, 1 = primary, 2 = secondary, 3 = higher 0 3 1.335 1.080
Access to electricity 0 = No, 1 = Yes 0 1 0.553 0.497
Ownership of agricultural land 0 = No, 1 = Yes 0 1 0.596 0.491
Ownership of livestock 0 = No, 1 = Yes 0 1 0.444 0.498
Drinking water source 0 = surface water, 1 = unprotected spring, 2 = unprotected dug well, 3 = tanker truck/pushcart, 4 = bottled/sachet water, 5 = rainwater, 6 = protected spring, 7 = protected dug well, 8 = borehole, 9 = public tap/standpipe, 10 = piped into dwelling/yard 0 10 5.551 2.052
Type of sanitation facility 0 = no facility/bush/field, 1 = hanging or bucket toilet, 2 = pit latrine without slab/open pit, 3 = pit latrine with slab, 4 = ventilated improved pit latrine, 5 = composting toilet, 6 = flush to somewhere else/don’t know where, 7 = flush to pit latrine, 8 = flush to septic tank, 9 = toilet that flush to piped sewer system 0 9 3.715 1.970
Type of cooking fuel 0 = no food cooked in the house, 1 = biomass/other, 2 = wood, 3 = charcoal/coal/lignite, 4 = kerosene, 5 = biogas, 6 = natural gas, 7 = LPG, 8 = electricity 0 8 2.684 1.032
Main floor material 1 = earth/sand, 2 = parquet/wood, 3 = palm/bamboo/other, 4 = vinyl/asphalt strips, 5 = ceramic tiles, 6 = cement, 7 = carpet/rug 1 7 5.011 1.509
Main wall material 0 = no walls, 1 = cane/palm/bamboo, 2 = dirt/earth, 3 = stone with mud/lime, 4 = plywood/wood planks, 5 = cardboard, 6 = metal/zinc, 7 = cement, 8 = bricks, 9 = cement blocks 0 9 5.332 2.908
Main roof material 0 = no roof, 1 = thatch/palm/bamboo, 2 = rustic mat/cardboard, 3 = wood/plank, 4 = metal/zinc, 5 = ceramic tiles, 6 = cement, 7 = roofing shingles 0 7 3.502 1.308
Home water treatment 0 = no, 1 = yes 0 1 0.081 0.273
Place for handwashing 0 = not observed, 1 = observed 0 1 0.806 0.314
Possession of mosquito nets 0 = no, 1 = yes 0 1 0.617 0.486

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Abubakar, I.R. Multidimensional Poverty among Nigerian Households: Sustainable Development Implications. Soc Indic Res (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-022-02963-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-022-02963-0

Keywords

  • Deprivation
  • Infrastructure
  • Housing inequality
  • Multidimensional poverty
  • Water and sanitation
  • Sustainable development