India records fastest reduction in multi-dimensional poverty in 2006-16

Topics poverty

India has recorded the fastest reduction in multi-dimensional poverty between 2006 and 2016, lifting 271 million people out of poverty during this period, according to a report by the United Nations.

India’s multi-dimensional poverty index (MPI) reduced from 0.283 in 2005-06 to 0.123 in 2015-16 with strong improvements in areas such as “assets, cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition”. Multidimensional poverty almost halved during the decade, down to 27.5 per cent, showed the 2019 global MPI from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). 

The report pointed out of the 10 select countries for which changes over time were analysed, India and Cambodia reduced their MPI faster than the rest — and they did not leave the poorest groups behind.

Multidimensional poor means that poverty is defined not simply by income but by a number of indicators, including poor health, poor work quality, and the threat of violence. Jharkhand reduced the incidence of multidimensional poverty from 74.9 per cent in 2005-06 to 46.5 per cent in 2015-16. 

Mondol Kiri and Rattanak Kiri in Cambodia reduced it from 71.0 per cent to 55.9 per cent between 2010 and 2014.  Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland were slightly behind Jharkhand.

Bihar was still the poorest state in 2015-16, with more than half its population in poverty.

In 2005-06, the population in India living in multidimensional poverty stood at about 640 million (55.1 per cent), reducing to 369 million (27.9 per cent) in 2015-16.

India reduced deprivation in nutrition from 44.3 per cent in 2005-06 to 21.2 per cent in 2015-16. Child mortality dropped from 4.5 per cent to 2.2 per cent, deprivation in sanitation from 50.4 per cent to 24.6 per cent, people deprived of cooking fuel from 52.9 per cent to 26.2 per cent, and those deprived of drinking water from 16.6 per cent to 6.2 per cent. 

Further, more people gained access to electricity as deprivation was reduced from 29.1 per cent to 8.6 per cent, housing from 44.9 per cent to 23.6 per cent, and assets deprivation from 37.6 per cent to 9.5 per cent.

Ethiopia, India, and Peru significantly reduced deprivation on all 10 indicators, namely nutrition, sanitation, child mortality, drinking water, years of schooling, electricity, school attendance, housing, cooking fuel, and assets.

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