Niti Aayog report claims decrease in multidimensional poverty

The National Multidimensional Poverty Index says 13.5 crore people came out of multidimensional poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21; Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh top the list of States in multidimensional poverty

July 17, 2023 09:17 pm | Updated July 18, 2023 03:54 pm IST - New Delhi

Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Suman Bery launches National Multidimensional Poverty Index in presence of  the Members of NITI Aayog, Dr. V K. Paul and Dr. Arvind Virmani and CEO NITI Aayog, B. V. R. Subrahmanyam, in New Delhi on July 17, 2023.

Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Suman Bery launches National Multidimensional Poverty Index in presence of the Members of NITI Aayog, Dr. V K. Paul and Dr. Arvind Virmani and CEO NITI Aayog, B. V. R. Subrahmanyam, in New Delhi on July 17, 2023. | Photo Credit: ANI

India has registered a significant decline of 9.89 percentage points in the number of multidimensionally poor, from 24.85% in 2015-16 to 14.96% in 2019-2021, according to the ‘National Multidimensional Poverty Index: A Progress Review 2023’. The report was released by the Niti Aayog in New Delhi on July 17. It claims that about 13.5 crore people came out of multidimensional poverty during the period, assessed by identifying “acute deprivations in health, education and standard of living” using United Nations-approved parameters.

The report said rural areas witnessed the fastest decline in poverty from 32.59% to 19.28%, primarily due to decrease in the number of multidimensionally poor in States such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan. Delhi, Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu have the least number of people facing multidimensional poverty along with the Union Territories. Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh top the chart where the percentage of total population who are multidimensionally poor is high.

Multidimensional poverty in urban areas, during the same period, saw a decrease from 8.65% to 5.27%. “Uttar Pradesh registered the largest decline in number of poor with 3.43 crore people escaping multidimensional poverty,” the Niti Aayog said in a statement. The report was released by Suman Bery, Vice-Chairman, Niti Aayog.

It is prepared based on the latest National Family Heath Survey of 2019-21 and is the second edition of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). “The broad methodology followed is in consonance with the global methodology,” the statement said adding that 12 parameters of health, education and standard of living are examined in the report. “These include nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, maternal health, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets, and bank accounts,” the release said.

According to the report, between 2015-16 and 2019-21, the MPI value has nearly halved from 0.117 to 0.066 and the intensity of poverty has reduced from 47% to 44%. “With our own national MPI, India is poised to gain a deeper understanding of poverty’s complexities and forge solutions that ensure inclusivity for all. The district-wise estimation of the national MPI will also prioritise reaching out to the furthest behind first through focused efforts on specific indicators and dimensions. The results and findings of the index provide valuable insights for both policymakers and the wider community,” Mr. Beri said adding that it will help the country to achieve the target of reducing multidimensional poverty as per UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, also known as Agenda 2030.

“The remarkable progress achieved through extremely low deprivation rates especially for electricity, access to bank accounts and drinking water, reflects the Government’s unwavering commitment to improving citizens’ lives and creating a brighter future for all,” the statement said.

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