Abstract: Background, aim, and scope Since the beginning of the 21st century, China has made great progress in poverty alleviation. The incidence rate of poverty has decreased from 17.2% in 2010 to 5.7% in 2015, with an average annual poverty reduction of 21.98 million people. However, the evaluation of poverty focuses on single indicator, like income or consumption, which is obviously not accurate enough. As a result, it is of great necessity to build a multidimensional evaluation system. Poverty in contiguous destitute areas is a special regional poverty. Accurate identification and evaluation poverty degree, exploring the causes of poverty are the premises of lasting poverty reduction. Qinba contiguous destitute areas cover five provinces, including Henan, Hubei, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu, and Chongqing municipality. It integrates old revolutionary base areas, large reservoir areas and natural disaster-striken areas. The complex internal differences and various poverty factors make these areas the most important areas in China's new round of poverty alleviation and development. Materials and methods Based on those, the paper shows the multidimensional poverty index system (MPI) with three dimensions, including the hard state of the economic dimension (ED), the soft state of the social dimension (SD) and the potential state of the natural dimension (ND). Then, it estimates MPI of all the counties by standard variance method in 2006, 2010 and 2014, and analyzes their spatio-temporal evolution. Results The results showed that the MPI in the poverty - stricken areas of Qinling-Dabashan region were high, which indicates that the poverty degree in this region were severe. The MPI varies in different poverty dimensions. In the time period of 2006 to 2014, the poverty degree showed a decreasing trend, and showed the spatial trend of agglomeration in the central region from Huixian County (Gansu Province) to Fangxian County (Hubei Province). While the overall MPI were significantly improved, the different contiguous poverty regions and different poverty dimensions also showed different evolutionary characteristics in poverty reduction paths. Discussion Based on the multidimensional poverty index system, the regional poverty of Qinba contiguous destitute areas can accurately reflect the poverty situation. However, due to the limitation of data acquisition, the county poverty characteristics were only measured based on the cross-section data of three time periods in Qinba contiguous destitute areas. Conclusions In Qinba contiguous destitute areas, the county multidimensional poverty was high volatile and varies in different poverty dimensions. Economic and social infrastructure were the main cause of poverty. Recommendations and perspectives The conclusions can provide some technical support such as the identification poverty types of the county-level, the early assessment of the poverty alleviation work and the post-acceptance effect in this region. It also provides scientific auxiliary decision-making support for the late implementation of the policy of poverty alleviation.
Keywords: Qinba Contiguous Destitute Areas; Multidimensional Poverty; Spatial Distribution; Standard Variance Method