The Nigeria EquityTool country factsheet and file downloads on this page are licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

 The simplest method of collecting EquityTool data is to sign up to our web app. To use the EquityTool in DHIS2 or another data collection platform, you will need to download the supporting file. Click on your preferred data collection method and complete the form to receive the file via email. Please check your junkmail folder if you do not receive an email from us.

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EquityTool: Released March 8, 2024 

The EquityTool has been updated based upon new source data.
The original version is no longer active but is available upon request.

Previous version released: December 9, 2015

Source data: Nigeria MIS 2021

# of survey questions in full wealth index: 44

# of variables in full index: 157

# of survey questions in EquityTool: 10

# of variables in EquityTool: 10



  Question Option 1 Option 2
Q1 Does this household have a television? Yes No
Q2 …an electric iron? Yes No
Q3 …a fan? Yes No
Q4 …a refrigerator? Yes No
Q5 …electricity? Yes No
Q6 …a generator? Yes No
Q7 Does any member of this household have a bank account? Yes No
Q8 …a watch? Yes No
Q9 What is the primary material of the floor of your dwelling? Earth/sand Other
Q10 What type of cookstove is mainly used for cooking? Three stone stove/open fire Other



Technical notes:

The standard simplification process was applied to achieve high agreement with the original wealth index. Kappa was greater than 0.75 for the national and urban indices. Details on the standard process can be found in this article. The data used to identify important variables comes from the factor weights released by ICF.


Level of agreement:


National Population


Urban only population


% agreement 85.8% 88.1%
Kappa statistic 0.777 0.814

Respondents in the original dataset were divided into three groups for analysis – those in the 1st and 2nd quintiles (poorest 40%), those in the 3rd quintile, and those in the 4th and 5th quintiles (richest 40%). After calculating their wealth using the simplified index, they were again divided into the same three groups for analysis against the original data in the full MIS. Agreement between the original data and our simplified index is presented above.


What does this mean?

When shortening and simplifying the index to make it easier for programs to use to assess equity, it no longer matches the original index with 100% accuracy. At an aggregate level, this error is minimal, and this methodology was deemed acceptable for programmatic use by an expert panel. However, for any given individual, especially those already at a boundary between two quintiles, the quintile the EquityTool assigns them to may differ to their quintile according to the original MIS wealth index.

The graph below illustrates the difference between the EquityTool generated index and the full MIS wealth index. Among all of those people (20% of the population) originally identified as being in the poorest quintile, approximately 73% are still identified as being in the poorest quintile when we use the simplified index.  However, approximately 24% of people are now classified as being in Quintile 2.  From a practical standpoint, all of these people are relatively poor. Yet, it is worthwhile to understand that the simplified index of 10 questions produces results that are not identical to using all 44 questions in the original survey.

The following table provides the same information on the movement between national quintiles when using the EquityTool versus the original MIS wealth index:

    EquityTool National Quintiles
    Quintile 1 Quintile 2 Quintile 3 Quintile 4 Quintile 5 Total

Original MIS

National Quintiles

Quintile 1  14.63%  4.83%  0.54%  0.00%  0.00% 20%
Quintile 2  6.20%  10.42%  3.35%  0.03%  0.00% 20%
Quintile 3  0.42% 4.83%  12.30%  2.46%  0.00% 20%
Quintile 4  0.00%  0.02%  2.54%  15.24%  2.18% 20%
Quintile 5  0.00%  0.00%  0.00%  2.23%  17.78% 20%
Total  21.25%  20.10%  18.73%  19.96%  19.96% 100%

The following graph provides information on the movement between urban quintiles when using the EquityTool versus the original MIS wealth index:

The following table provides the same information on the movement between urban quintiles when using the EquityTool versus the original MIS wealth index:

    EquityTool Urban Quintiles
    Quintile 1 Quintile 2 Quintile 3 Quintile 4 Quintile 5 Total

Original MIS

Urban Quintiles

Quintile 1 16.95% 3.07% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 20%
Quintile 2 3.17% 14.26% 2.56% 0.00% 0.00% 20%
Quintile 3 0.00% 2.66% 14.32% 3.02% 0.00% 20%
Quintile 4 0.00% 0.03% 3.59% 13.73% 2.66% 20%
Quintile 5 0.00% 0.00% 0.05% 5.19% 14.73% 20%
Total 20.12% 20.02% 20.52% 21.95%  17.39% 100%


Data interpretation considerations:

  1. This tool provides information on relative wealth – ‘ranking’ respondents within the national or urban population. The most recent available data from the World Bank indicates that 30.86% of people in Nigeria live below $2.15/day[1]. This information can be used to put relative wealth into context.
  2. People who live in urban areas are more likely to be wealthy. In Nigeria, 40% of people living in urban areas are in the richest national quintile, compared to only 11% of those living in rural areas[2].
  3. If your population of interest is predominantly urban, we recommend you look at the urban results to understand how relatively wealthy or poor they are, in comparison to other urban dwellers.
  4. If the people you interviewed using the EquityTool live in rural areas, or a mix of urban and rural areas, we recommend using the national results to understand how relatively wealthy or poor they are, in comparison to the whole country.
  5. Some Local Government Areas in Nigeria are wealthier than others. It is important to understand the country context when interpreting your results.
  6. In most cases, your population of interest is not expected to be equally distributed across the five wealth quintiles. For example, if your survey interviewed people exiting a shopping mall, you would probably expect most of them to be relatively wealthy.


Changes from the previous EquityTool

We released an EquityTool on December 9, 2015, which compared user data to a benchmark of the 2013 DHS survey.  A new source survey, the 2021 MIS survey, was recently released, and allows us to benchmark results to a more recent population. This is important, because wealth generally increases over time, and comparing your respondents to an old benchmark population will lead to over-estimating the relatively wealthy in your survey. In generating the new EquityTool, no attempt was made to account for the fact that a previous version existed. In other words, we did not explicitly try to keep the same questions or response options as the previous tool.


Practical considerations

For those who have not previously conducted an EquityTool based study in Nigeria, the remainder of this section is not particularly relevant.  For those who have used the previous EquityTool, you may be interested to know how the two versions compare.

  Previous Current
Source Data DHS 2013 MIS 2021
# of questions in EquityTool 11 10
# of questions in full wealth index 38 44
# of variables in EquityTool 12 10
# of variables in full wealth index 137 157
Kappa statistic (EquityTool vs full wealth Index) for 3 groups

National: .768

Urban: .754

National: .777

Urban: .814

Compared to the previous EquityTool some of the questions and variables included have changed.

The previous EquityTool included 12 variables. Of those 12 variables, 8 are still included in the current EquityTool.

1. Television 5. Generator
2. Electric Iron 6. Electricity
3. Fan 7. Bank Account
4. Refrigerator 8. Primary floor material: earth/sand

Two variables are included in the new EquityTool that were not included in the previous EquityTool.

1.     Watch 2.     Type of cookstove: Three stone stove/open fire

It is generally best to use the current version of the EquityTool, since it will give a more accurate quintile estimate. We recommend discontinuing use of the previous EquityTool. Note that if you have created a survey in the EquityTool web application using the previous EquityTool, that survey will continue to use the previous EquityTool.

If conducting a follow-up survey to a baseline that used the previous EquityTool, and the most important result is change from the baseline, it may be preferable to continue to use the previous EquityTool for comparability. If you need to do this, please contact us at


Contextualizing changes in the EquityTool

Comparing the results of surveys that used the previous EquityTool against those that use the current EquityTool is difficult. It will not always be clear whether any difference is because of actual differences in the wealth level of the respondents or because the EquityTool has changed.

The section below provides relevant contextual information that may help a user understand why the EquityTool has changed from the previous tool.


Changes in asset ownership

Over time, patterns of asset ownership change. This may reflect the fact that an asset which previously was quite expensive has become more affordable over time, making it more accessible to a large population or that the population has grown wealthier and now a larger portion of the population is able to afford more expensive goods. Likewise, some asset may simply become more or less prevalent due to technological changes. As asset ownership patterns change, their ability to help us distinguish between wealth quintiles may also change.

Figure 1 shows how ownership of the assets in the original benchmark survey and the current benchmark survey [2]. Assets that are not included in both baseline surveys are not shown in this graph. Assets in red appear in both the current and previous versions of the EquityTool.


Figure 1: Change in Asset Ownership from DHS 2013 Survey to MIS 2021 Survey, Nigeria


Ownership rates for some assets, such as an electric iron, generator, and fan, are stable in 2013 and 2021. These assets also appear in both the previous and current EquityTool. Other assets, such as kerosene cook fuel and cane/palm/trunk/dirt walls have experienced large declines in ownership. Both kerosene cook fuel and cane/palm/trunk/dirt walls are also no longer included in the current EquityTool.


Changes in country context

Changes in the EquityTool often reflect changes in the economic well-being of the population. As the population wealth changes, the prevalence of different assets may change.

The following table provides a summary of some key indicators which illustrate how the economic well-being of the population of Nigeria has changed from 2013 to 2021.


Previous Survey: DHS 2013

Current Survey: MIS 2021

Percent of the population living below the $2.15 per day poverty line [1]

33.83% (2012)

30.86% (2018)

Percent of the population that is multidimensionally poor [3]



GDP per capita [4]



Average annual GDP growth from 2013 to 2021 [5]


While Nigeria experienced negative economic growth two years between 2013 and 2021, on average, the economy has grown. Accompanying this economic growth has also been a decrease in the poverty headcount as measured by both the international poverty line and the Multidimensional Poverty Index. This economic improvement, over time, will reduce the previous Nigeria EquityTool’s ability to accurately assign households to their most correct wealth quintiles.

Metrics for Management provides technical assistance services to those using the Equity Tool or wanting to collect data on the wealth of their program beneficiaries. Please contact and we will assist you. 

[1] From, reporting poverty headcount ratio at $2.15/day at 2017 international prices.

[2] From the Nigeria dataset household recode, available at

[3] From Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative Global MPI Briefing 2023: Nigeria

[4] From, reporting GDP per capita, PPP (constant 2017 international $)

[5] From, reporting average of GDP growth (annual %)