Publications Summary

Document Type
Analytical Studies
Publication Topic(s)
Child Health and Development, Maternal Health, Wealth/Socioeconomics
Congo Democratic Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Zambia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Haiti
Recommended Citation
Winfrey, William and Sara Riese. 2020. Household Wealth Relative to Community Wealth: Associations with Specific Asset Ownership and Maternal and Child Health Indicators. DHS Analytical Studies No. 76. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF.
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Publication Date
September 2020
Publication ID


This report describes inequalities in asset ownership and maternal and child health indicator coverage in 11 countries, using the most recent Demographic and Health surveys from each country. Inequalities are assessed by categorizing households according to their wealth relative to their community’s average wealth (poor compared to community, similar to community, rich compared to community). The overall distribution of household wealth relative to community average wealth is presented, along with associations with specific asset ownership and maternal and child health indicator coverage. Four countries (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Indonesia, and Liberia) are heterogeneous when assessed by household wealth relative to average community wealth. This means that large proportions of households live in communities of differing average wealth. Kenya, Mali, Pakistan, Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria are homogenous when assessed by household wealth relative to average community wealth. This means that most households live in communities of similar average wealth. Electricity and improved walls are assets associated with homogeneity and are more likely to be owned by households that are poor relative to their community. In contrast, ownership of vehicles is more common among households that are rich relative to the community. Pakistan and Indonesia have the highest proportion of health indicator inequalities of all countries, while the most common indicator with inequality by household wealth status relative to community was health facility delivery. Despite limitations, these findings may support programs that focus interventions on improving equity in maternal and child health.


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