Journal of
Economics and International Finance

  • Abbreviation: J. Econ. Int. Finance
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9812
  • DOI: 10.5897/JEIF
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 348

Full Length Research Paper

Towards reducing poverty in Nigeria: The case of Igboland

John C. Anyanwu
Lead Research Economist, Development Research Department, African Development Bank, BP 323, 1002 Tunis Belvedere, Tunis, Tunisia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 July 2011
  •  Published: 30 September 2011



This paper studied poverty in Igboland (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo States) of Nigeria, using the 1996 National Consumer Survey data set. The results show that by 1996, the proportion of the Igbo States’ population living under the  in 1992. The depth of poverty in Igbo%, up from 40.9%poverty line stood at 55.1  in 1992. The severity of% in 1996, again an increase from 16.2%States was 21.6  in 1996. Also, both urban% in 1992 to 11.4%Igbo States’ poverty rose from 8.7 and rural incidence of poverty in Igboland rose between 1992 and 1996, from 38.3  for urban and rural areas, respectively. In addition,% and 43.3 to 58.8%to 49.2 mirroring the national outlook, rural poverty in Igboland was more widespread, deeper, and more severe than urban poverty in 1996. Our empirical analysis indicate that it is only in Abia State that increases in household head’s age significantly reduce poverty (albeit at a decreasing rate) but showing that household size is the most important factor increasing poverty in Igboland. Also, rural location in Anambra State has a statistically significant negative effect on poverty while the results with respect to Imo state show that the probability of being poor increases if the household is located in a rural area. Our results show that generally, male-headed households are less likely to be poor than female-headed households in Igboland but education does not significantly affect the level of poverty. However, farming occupation has a high significant negative effect on the level of poverty in the entire Igboland taken together as well as in Anambra and Enugu/Ebonyi States. But, in Imo state, farming occupation very significantly increases the poverty level. Based on these results, we suggested a number of policy interventions necessary to reduce poverty in Igboland of Nigeria.


Key words: Poverty, Igboland, Nigeria.