Incidence of Poverty among Small-Scale Business Workers in the University of Lagos

  • Oluwaseyi Omowunmi Popogbe Department of Economics, Crawford University, Ogun State
  • Oluyemi Theophilus Adeosun Department of Economics, University of Lagos, Lagos State
Keywords: poverty, small-scale business, poverty line, poverty headcount, poverty depth, poverty severity


This study contributes to the discourse on poverty from a micro perspective by measuring
poverty levels of business workers in the University of Lagos, Nigeria. Arguments by
development economists are divided along the micro and macro dimensions of poverty,
and evidence from countries like Nigeria shows that a growing economy does not
translate to low poverty rates. Therefore, this paper examines the prevalence, depth and
severity of poverty among small-scale business workers within the University of Lagos.
With a population size of about 1260, 303 respondents were sampled for the study using
a closed-ended questionnaire. Using the Foster, Greer and Thorbecke measurement
technique, the researchers found that 69% of the respondents fell below the poverty line,
while 40.84 and 5.51 were deemed to be in poverty depth and poverty severity
respectively. Their cost of basic needs was used as the approach in estimating the
poverty line and was ₦1,008.68. Many of the respondents were below 25 years, single
and still dependent on external sources for sustenance. Low income was a major reason
for the poverty in this environment, not necessarily access to basic needs like water and
accommodation. It is recommended that business workers acquire a skill that will make
them more marketable and productive.

How to Cite
Popogbe , O. O., & Adeosun, O. T. (2022). Incidence of Poverty among Small-Scale Business Workers in the University of Lagos. Unilag Journal of Humanities, 9(2), 88-103. Retrieved from