This study explores the determinants of poverty among households in Nigeria. Poverty is complex and dynamic and it involves social, economic, cultural, political and other forms of deprivation. Such deprivation affects individuals of different age brackets, sex and abilities or disabilities. It also affects entire households, certain social groups and communities that are marginalized and disadvantaged

In order to establish the relationship between socio-economic and demographic characteristics and poverty among households in Nigeria, a Possession score on assets was used to estimate of household welfare. In the construction of the possession score index, a score was given to each asset based on counting of the physically present assets backed up by visual inspection. Seven (7) items were included after considering what the people in Nigeria wish to possess as soon as their income increases. The households were classified as poor, middle class and rich if they had a total of score between 0-3 (inclusive), 4-5 (inclusive) and 6-7 (inclusive), respectively. This aided to distinguish between households, which were under the condition of high deprivation, at risk of deprivation and those households, which were living in the condition of less deprivation.

Although the study indicated that most of the factors were significant, the female headed households were found to be poorer than males. This study also found out that as age of the household head increases, the likelihood of belonging to middle and rich classes increases.

The urban households had higher odds of belonging to the middle class than rural households. Households with employed heads had higher odds of belonging to middle class than those with unemployed heads. Households with educated women were found to have higher odds of belonging to middle class than those with uneducated women. Households with heads in who were never married were found to be poorer than the married. However, according to the study, sex, residence and household size do not greatly affect household poverty. Therefore, there is need to design strategies that would help rural and the deprived urban people (areas) overcome poverty by setting up projects which would enable them overcome poverty.

This chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, purpose of the study, objectives, hypothesis and conceptual framework. It also outlines the scope and significance of the study. It further defines concepts and terms used in the study.

1.1 Background of the study
In September 2000, the International Community issued a statement pronouncing the eradication of poverty as the number one development goal for the millennium. Specifically, it set out to halve severe poverty by the year 2015. Coinciding with this commitment, the World Bank henceforth, focused the ITS 2001/01 World Development Report on exploring best practices for reaching this goal, repositioning poverty alleviation as the single greatest mission guiding the Bank’s policies and programs.

Extreme poverty remains a daily reality for more than a billion people who survive on less than the basic needed for a day to day survival. Hunger and malnutrition are almost equally pervasive: more than 800 million people have too little to meet their daily energy needs. For young children the lack of food can be perilous since it retards their physical and mental development and threatens their very survival. More than a quarter of children under age 5 in developing countries are malnourished, (UN, 2005)

Poverty is multi-dimensional. It is characterized by lack of purchasing power, exposure to risk, malnutrition, high mortality rate, low life expectancy, insufficient access to social and economic services and few opportunities for income generation. Though the incidence of poverty in Nigeria is much higher in the rural areas than in the urban centers, the urban slum dwellers form one of the more deprived groups.

In Nigeria, the poverty head count is estimated at 31.1% which registers a decline from 37.1 %. (UN, 2007). The report further reveals that poverty in the rural areas has gone down 41.7 in 2002/2003 to 34.2 in 2005/2006 where as the decline in rural poverty is evident, the disproportionate contribution of the rural areas to national poverty is still the same, (UN, 2007). The Urban Though have small numbers of the poor compared to their rural counterparts, statistics hide deep inequalities and gross over concentration of the poverty situation, (UN, 2007)

Aggregate statistics hide deep inequalities and gross over concentrations of situations within urban and rural areas in the country. Most assessments actually underestimate the scale and depth of poverty (World Bank, 2002). One aspect of poverty that emerges strongly from people’s description of their experience is the notion of vulnerability (Beard, 1998). Many households while not currently in poverty recognize that they are vulnerable and that events could easily push them into poverty.

1.2 Statement of a problem
The 2007 Millennium development goals progress report indicates that the income poverty headcount for Nigeria today is 31.1 % from 37.7% in 2002/2003. Poverty in urban areas increased from 12.2 % in 2002/3 to 13.7% in 2005/06 compared to rural areas which decreased from 41.7% in 2002/03 to 34.2% in 2005/06. The decrease in poverty is attributed to the better performance in the agricultural sector with an increment in the coffee prices and increase in poverty is also as a result of the decrease in agricultural produce (UN, 2007).

Where as it is assumed that poverty has gone down and the situation is getting better, its not the case with the people who merely survive in the slums in urban centers where most of them do not have any stable income and run the risk of being poor (UN, 2007). The poor in the rural areas too are still living in aggravating conditions, and during the period 2002/2003-2005/2006, the contribution of rural areas to national poverty remained unchanged at about 93% (UN, 2007). The fact that most poor households have high dependency rates with about 60% of the household members being children has also kept households in grave poverty situations (ibid).

Despite government efforts to curb poverty under programmes like the poverty Eradication Plan (PEAP), poverty levels in the country are still high, and more people are living in absolute poverty. Poverty in Nigeria seems to be tackled at National level, rather than Household level, a reason why a study should be carried out to establish the relation between Household demographic and socio economic conditions and poverty basing on material wellbeing of a household using possession of assets criterion.

1.3 Objectives of study
The major objective of the study was to determine the poverty status of households in Nigeria and more specifically the study sought to find out the following;

1. To establish the relationship between socio economic and demographic characteristics and poverty among households in Nigeria.

2. To determine the relationship between the gender of the household head and poverty status in urban and rural areas.

1.4 Hypothesis
In order to address the stated objectives, the following hypothesis was tested.

There is a significant relationship between the education of the Household head and the poverty status of a Household.

2. There is a significance relationship between residence and occupation of the household head with ownership of household assets.

3. Households headed by males are more likely to posses more assets than the female headed households.

1.6 Justification of the study
It is hoped that the findings of the study will help to contribute policy recommendations to government agencies and programmes like Poverty Eradication Plan (PEAP), Health Sector Strategic Plans (HSSP), National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) and non-government organizations that are involved in poverty eradication programmes like the World Bank under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS)

This research will also help to generate and build social and economic indicators for monitoring the progress made towards social and economic development goals of the country and interpreting the findings of the data in a simpler way understood by the people.

The study will also contribute to the update literature for academicians especially in the Institute of Statistics specially the Department of Population Studies and other institutions of learning.

1.7 Organization of the study
The chapter one of the dissertation starts by introducing the topic, followed by the statement of the problem, objectives and the hypothesis, finally the significance of the study. The second chapter of the presents the literature reviewed from other studies that are related to the topic of study. The third chapter of the dissertation presents the methodology adopted by the study and includes sources of data, the study design and population followed by the study variables, data management and analysis. The following chapters for and five present the finds of the study at a all the three stages, univariate, bivariate and multivariate levels of analysis. Finally chapter six presents the summary, conclusion and recommendations.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 53 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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