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Towards a Definition of Poverty


  • Rufus B. Akindola

    (The University of Melbourne, Australia. [email:])


This article argues that poverty transcends its traditional definition as a shortfall in income levels. It demonstrates that poverty is multidimensional and that successful poverty reduction rests squarely on understanding these dimensions through the active participation of poor people in all stages of developing that understanding. Drawing on results from a nationally representative sample of rural households and views obtained from focus group discussions in Oyo State, Nigeria, it was found that poverty is more than a lack of adequate income but a combination of many forms of deprivation that together allow human capabilities to go unrealzsed. Although, it was found that income is important, raising income alone is not a sufficient condition for poverty reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • Rufus B. Akindola, 2009. "Towards a Definition of Poverty," Journal of Developing Societies, , vol. 25(2), pages 121-150, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jodeso:v:25:y:2009:i:2:p:121-150

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