Office of Global Affairs

December 2, 2015

UW researchers use cell phone metadata to estimate poverty in developing countries

In developing or war-ravaged countries where government censuses are few and far between, gathering data for public services or policymaking can be difficult, dangerous or near-impossible. Now, researchers with the University of Washington Information School and Computer Science and Engineering Department have devised a way to estimate the distribution of wealth and poverty in an area by studying metadata from calls and texts made on cell phones.

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