Indicator 2. Proportion of population living below national poverty line, by urban/rural (modified MDG Indicator)

Rationale and definition:

This modified MDG Indicator is defined as the percentage of the population living below the national poverty line, where the average daily consumption (or income) is less than a certain amount per person per day. These poverty thresholds are defined at the country level below which a person is deemed to be poor. The national poverty line should be differentiated for urban versus rural settings within the country to account for differences in cost of living.


By sex, age, disability, urban/rural, and other qualifiers. Of particular importance is to identify (i) the sex of the head of the household since households headed by women may be more likely to experience extreme poverty and (ii) percentage of children (under 18) living in poverty as children are generally overrepresented among the extremely poor, and are explicitly highlighted in OWG outcome document target 1.2.

Comments and limitations:

National poverty lines do not provide a uniform measure, so this indicator does not allow for direct comparison across countries.

Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:


Primary data source:

Household surveys, for example household budget surveys or other surveys covering income and expenditure.

Potential lead agency or agencies:

World Bank, UN DESA.