One-tenth of India’s population escaped poverty in 5 years: Government report

Around 135 million people, which is approximately 10 per cent of India’s population, ran out of poverty in the five years to March 2021, a government report revealed on Monday. Rural areas saw the hugest fall in poverty, according to the study, which used the United Nations’ Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), based on 12 factors like malnutrition, education and hygiene. If people are away from getting these basic rights in three or more areas, they are considered as “MPI poor”.

“upgradations in nutrition, years of schooling, sanitation and cooking fuel has a part to play in reducing poverty,” said Mr Suman Bery, vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog, the government think-tank that revealed the report. The percentage of the population living in poverty fell to 15 per cent in 2019-21 from 25 per cent in 2015/16, according to the report, which was based on the 2019-21 National Family Health Survey. A report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released last week conveyed the number of people residing in multidimensional poverty fell to 16.4 per cent of India’s population in 2021 from 55 per cent in 2005.

According to UNDP estimates, the number of people, who lived below the US$2.15 (S$2.84) per day poverty line had declined to 10 per cent in India in 2021. India’s federal government provides free of cost food grain to around 800 million people, about 57 per cent of the nation’s 1.4 billion population, whilst states splash out billions of dollars on subsidising education, health, electricity and other services. The state that saw the largest number getting out of poverty was Uttar Pradesh, with 343 million people, followed by the states of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, information revealed through the report.