Analyzing Spatial Distribution of Poverty Incidence in Northern Region of Peninsular Malaysia

  •  Narimah Samat    
  •  Siti Masayu Rosliah Abdul Rashid    
  •  Yasin Abdalla Elhadary    


Poverty has been a major problem around the world for many years. Therefore eradicating poverty has become the first agenda in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as its achievable target. In Malaysia, poverty rate is relatively low, decreasing from 49.3% in 1970 to 15% in 1990, then, to merely 0.6% in 2014. Although poverty rate is very small, it is reported at a state level which is to general to visualize its actual distribution. Furthermore, it fails to capture geographic variation within the state. This study aimed to analyze the spatial distribution of poverty incidence in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia at a sub-district level using Geographic Information System (GIS). GIS was used to map poverty rate, demographic burden and poverty hotspot in the study areas. The poverty data were obtained from e-Kasih database. Furthermore, the accessibility of each sub-district to major urban centers, higher education institutions, and health facilities were also measured. Results indicated that poverty rate was highly correlated with regional differentiation, where location played a significant role in identifying areas with a high number of poor populations. Sub-districts with high poverty rate were less accessible to major urban centers, higher education institutions and health facilities. The findings also indicated that access to opportunities and facilities remained the major concerns in solving the poverty issues in Malaysia. It is timely, therefore, a spatial dimensional approach used to complement the existing poverty eradication strategies.

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