Inequality Projection for Poverty Analysis

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL2.GPID/2024/TP.3

Country: Arab region

Publication Type: Information material

Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development

Focus Area: 2030 Agenda

Initiatives: Reducing inequalities, Addressing multidimensional poverty

SDGs: Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

Keywords: Arab countries, Households, Income distribution, Poverty mitigation, Statistical methodology

Inequality Projection for Poverty Analysis

April 2024

To assess inequality in the heterogeneous and data-challenged Arab countries, and to understand how economic distribution evolves, ESCWA has advanced novel methodologies for analyzing, nowcasting and projecting the distributions of household incomes. These innovations are the basis for ESCWA’s Arab Poverty Report and the forthcoming World Poverty Report. Elements of these methodologies have also been incorporated in ESCWA’s new Money-Metric Poverty Assist Tool (MPAT,, which allows policymakers and international development organizations to project poverty in any country worldwide under the derived distribution trends.

This paper contributes to this work by assessing the dynamics of inequality across distinct country groups, and proposing a methodology for projecting the Gini coefficients in pre-, between- and post-survey years. This allows us to track countries’ prospects for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 10. Our projections suggest a timid pace of equalizing development across all world regions, which does not bode well for the ambitious 2030 Agenda. Without more policy effort to reducing inequality in the long-term, particularly in less-developed high-inequality countries, the achievement of a number of SDGs is in jeopardy. The SDG targets 1.1, 1.2 and 10.1 on adequately reducing inequality and poverty may not be met in the vast majority of countries worldwide.

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