The P20 Initiative aims to track the progress of the poorest 20% of the world’s population from poverty to security and opportunity. It is about ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goals and the data revolution deliver progress for the poorest 20% of the world’s population – the P20 – and that no one is left behind.
But if we are to achieve this global ambition we first must better understand what factors and circumstances contribute to people’s exclusion, and how different deprivations and disadvantages intersect and reinforce one other.
Using our new visualisation in the Development Data Hub, let’s look at Nigeria as an example. Here, we find that 65% of the country’s population are within the global P20 – that’s approximately 112 million people. But what factors contribute to the likelihood of being in the global P20 in Nigeria? Well, if we compare the global P20 population in Nigeria against those living in the country’s rural and urban areas, we find that 52% are in the global P20 and living in rural areas, compared with only 13% for those living in urban areas.
Figure 1. Intersection of Nigeria’s population within the global P20, and those living within the country’s rural and urban areas
This tells us that in Nigeria, as in many other countries that are home to significant numbers of people living in poverty, you are much more likely to fall within the global P20 if you live in a rural area. But how does this intersect with other factors such as the presence of functioning civil registration and vital statistics systems (CRVS)? Civil registration ensures governments know that their citizens exist, when they were born and when they have died. Without functioning CRVS systems people remain invisible and uncounted, unable to claim their rights as citizens and more likely to be left behind.
The percentage of births registered is a key indicator of a strong CRVS system. So what happens when we look at Nigeria? What we find is that 56% of under-fives in the P20 within Nigeria don’t have their births registered. When we look at how this plays out between populations living in the country’s rural and urban areas, we find that only 8% of those under five who live in urban areas and are within the global P20 in Nigeria don’t have their birth registered, whereas this shoots up to 47% for those living in rural areas.
Figure 2. Intersection between Nigeria’s population within the global P20, those in the country with unregistered births, and those living in rural and urban areas
Note: Some indicators measure for certain population groups only. The above visualisation shows data for people that are less than 5 years old.
Education is a key factor that affects people’s ability to escape poverty, but looking at levels of education as an aggregate can blur the ways in which different populations are excluded. Gender is a critical lens for education, as girls are often at risk of being unable to access the same levels of education as boys.[i] In Nigeria, we find that for the global P20 living in the country, among those that are female and over 25, 24% have no education or preschool. When we look at the same indicator for men, we see this drop to 16%.
Figure 3. Intersection between Nigeria’s population within the global P20, those in the country without education or preschool, and those that are male and female
Note: The above visualisation shows data for people that are more than 25 years old.
Countries, communities and households are made up of people of different ages and sexes, and with different capacities and abilities. Understanding these and other differences is crucial to making effective policies to ensure that no one is left behind. In order to do this, we need more data to be disaggregated as a minimum by quintile, geography, gender, age and disability.