Poverty Reduction Rate Fastest Among Scheduled Tribes and Muslims in India, Shows UN Data

Poverty reduction was fastest among children, the poorest states, scheduled tribes, and Muslims in India wherein a historic shift over 270 million people moved out of poverty in the decade since 2005-06, according to a new data.

About the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI):

The MPI provides the most comprehensive view of the various ways in which 1.3 billion people worldwide experience poverty in their daily life.

The MPI looks at the multifaceted nature of poverty. It identifies people’s deprivations across three key dimensions – health, education and living standards, lacking amenities such as clean water, sanitation, adequate nutrition or primary education. Those who are left behind in at least a third of the MPI’s components are defined as multidimensionally poor.

How is the global MPI 2018 aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals?

Rather than viewing challenges one by one, in silos, the MPI shows how deprivations related to SDGs 1, 2, 3,4,6,7, and 11 are concretely interlinked in poor people’s lives. Rather than providing only national headlines, the global MPI is disaggregated by subnational region, area, ethnicity, or age cohort. The indicators underlying the global MPI 2018 have been revised to better align with the SDGs.

India has made giant strides in reducing multidimensional poverty, bringing down its poverty rate from 55% to 28% in ten years.

Between 2005-06 and 2015-16, more than 271 million people have come out of the clutches of poverty in India. However, India still has the largest number of people living in multidimensional poverty in the world- around 364 million people. 156 million out of 364 million people who are MPI poor in 2015/2016 are children.

India’s scale of poverty reduction has parallels with the phenomenal level of poverty reduction achieved in China a decade or so earlier. India’s scale of multidimensional poverty reduction over the decade from 2005/6 to 2015/16 – from 635 million poor persons to 364 million– can be compared to the speedy pace of China’s poverty reduction, which occurred over more than 20 years.

Across nearly every state, poor nutrition is the largest contributor to multidimensional poverty. Not having a household member with at least six years of education is the second largest contributor. Insufficient access to clean water and child mortality contribute least.

Among states, Jharkhand had the greatest improvement, with Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland only slightly behind. However, Bihar is still the poorest state in 2015/16, with more than half of its population in poverty.

In 2015/16, the four poorest states – Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh – were still home to 196 million MPI poor people – over half of all the MPI poor people in India. Delhi, Kerala, and Goa have the lowest incidence of multidimensional poverty.

Among the South Asian countries, only Maldives boasts lower MPI of 0.007 than India (0.121). Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Afghanistan all boast higher incidences of multidimensional poverty.

After India (364 million people), the countries with the largest number of people living in multi-dimensional poverty are Nigeria (97 million), Ethiopia (86 million), Pakistan (85 million), and Bangladesh (67 million).

The global MPI covers 105 countries in total, home to 75% of the world’s population, or 5.7 billion people. Of this proportion, 1.3 billion are identified as multidimensionally poor, and half of them are younger than 18 years old.

83% of the worlds poor live in South Asia and Africa. The latest data further reveals the vast majority of the multidimensional poor – 1.1 billion people – live in rural areas around the world, where poverty rates are four times higher than among those living in urban areas.

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