Income indicators are interesting in that they enable us to tell how many people are below or above a given threshold, and how far. We can also follow the evolution of the data in time and use it to make comparisons with other societies that use similar measures. However, these comparisons, as promising as they are, are not without limitations, which are important to identify.
Poverty is not simply a question of low income; it is a multidimensional phenomenon. A number of indicators can reveal different factors that influence poverty and social exclusion, as well as their consequences. For example, geography, which reveals the environmental or socioeconomic context, can be an influencing factor of poverty and even contribute to its reproduction.
While there are many situations of exclusion, those that interest us relate directly to poverty, either because they are conducive (a particular pattern or chain of events that prevent an individual from escaping poverty - what we might call the exclusion spiral), or because they are themselves created by poverty.
Researchers have begun to explore other avenues and to identify new dimensions of poverty and exclusion, like the financial and social cost of poverty and its solutions, and other themes such as material deprivation, use or non-use of rights, or life courses. However, statistical models are still in the early stages of development. What progress has been achieved recently in these matters?