SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Cuesta, Jose, López-Noval, Borja and Niño-Zarazúa, Miguel (2022) Social Exclusion. Concepts, Measurement, and a Global Estimate. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10097.

Text - Published Version
Download (860kB) | Preview


There are multiple estimates of global monetary and multidimensional poverty, but there are still no estimates of populations at risk of social exclusion worldwide. This paper fills this gap by estimating the share and number of populations at risk of exclusion globally and regionally. It develops a conceptual framework of social exclusion that builds on Sen’s capability approach and emphasizes the relative, multidimensional, and dynamic features of exclusion. The paper also develops a macro counting measure of population groups that are particularly vulnerable to exclusion based on identity, circumstances, and socioeconomic conditions. The empirical strategy surveys the most reliable sources of vulnerable populations across countries and develops a protocol to avoid double-counting of individuals at risk of social exclusion. Overall, between 2.33 billion and 2.43 billion people—roughly 32 percent of the global population—are estimated to be at risk of being socially excluded. The South Asia and East Asia and Pacific regions contain 1.3 billion such people, with India and China alone home to 840 million of them. Meanwhile, 52 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is vulnerable to exclusion, the greatest share of any region. The paper also discusses several implications of these estimates, emphasizing that policies targeting the poor might not be sufficient to tackle social exclusion.

Item Type: Monographs and Working Papers (Working Paper)
Keywords: Social exclusion, populations at risk, estimates, global
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2022 12:01
Funders: Other

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item