The reality of disability: Multidimensional poverty of people with disability and their families in Latin America

Elsevier, Disability and Health Journal, Volume 11, Issue 3, July 2018, Pages 398-404
Authors: 
Mónica Pinilla-Roncancio Ph.D.

Background

Disability and poverty are interconnected and although this relationship has been recognised, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support any possible causal relationship in this topic, particularly in the context of Latin America (LA).

Hypothesis

This study tests the hypothesis “Disability increases the risk of multidimensional poverty of people living with disabilities and their families”.

Methods

Using national census data from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico, the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (Global MPI) was calculated with the aim of measuring and comparing the levels of multidimensional poverty of people living in households with and without disabled members in the five countries.

Results

We found that in the five countries people with disabilities and their families had higher incidence, intensity and levels of multidimensional poverty compared with people living in other households. Their levels of deprivation were also higher for all the indicators included in the Global MPI and the contribution of this group to the national MPI was higher than their share of the population, thus people with disabilities and their families are overrepresented in those living in multidimensional poverty.

Conclusions

People with disabilities and their families are in worse conditions than poor households without disabled members and social policies should aim to reduce their high levels of multidimensional poverty and deprivation.