Children in Measurements of Poverty Within Populations: Two Problems with Current Indexes

  • Katarina Pitasse Fragoso
Part of the Philosophy and Poverty book series (PPOV, volume 1)


Measurements of poverty generally rely upon assessments made of the situation of the household. Children are currently omitted from direct measurements of poverty: their situation is assessed indirectly by taking the household as the unit of analysis (by income and/or surveys). According to these assessments, when family income or levels of deprivation are below a given poverty line, every member is considered poor. In this chapter, I argue that poverty should not only be measured using such a general assessment. A measurement of poverty should consider children as being part of the population and take into account individual differences in levels of deprivation, varying needs and interests. I will argue, first, that measurements of poverty should take universal and individual approach in order to include representative groups and to reflect intra-household distributions of deprivation that especially affect children. Second, not only should children’s individual conditions be measured, but their voices should be included in the assessment as well. Based on this idea, my ambition is to provide two philosophical arguments to justify why we should consider the situation of children in measurements of poverty (understood as epistemic and moral reasons). I suggest, finally, some recommendations for and directions towards a participative child-based measurement with storytelling.


Measurements of poverty Individual unit children’s participation Storytelling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katarina Pitasse Fragoso
    • 1
  1. 1.Catholic University of LouvainLouvainBelgium

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