Statsguru: Six charts explain another dimension of poverty in India

What is the News?

Researchers have released a paper titled “Examining multidimensional poverty reduction in India between 2005/6–2015/16”.

What are the key highlights of the paper released?
Incidence of Poverty

Incidence of Poverty or the headcount ratio defines the percentage of people who are poor.

According to the research, the all-India national average of Incidence of Poverty was 27.9 %.

When compared social group-wise, the incidence of poverty was highest among Scheduled Tribes(STs). Over half (50.6%) of the ST population was multidimensionally poor.

They were followed by Scheduled Caste groups where a third(33.3%) were affected by multidimensional poverty.

Intensity of Poverty

The intensity of Poverty defines the average share of deprivation experienced by the poor.

The all-India national average of Intensity of Poverty was 43.9 per cent.

When compared social group-wise, the intensity of poverty was marginally higher among Scheduled Tribes (45.9%) compared to Scheduled Caste(44.1%) and Other Backward Classes(43.5%).

Religion wise differences in incidence and intensity of multidimensional poverty 

The NFHS 2015-16 data shows the difference in incidence and intensity of multidimensional poverty among religious groups. 

Muslims had a higher incidence and intensity of Poverty, followed by Hindus and Christians.

Asset Ownership among Social Groups

All India Debt and Investment Survey(AIDIS) provides data regarding asset holdings of social groups. 

According to the survey, about 98.8% of ST households in rural areas had assets vis-à-vis the 99.4% national average. 

In urban areas, the divide was even starker with only 93% of ST households having assets, compared to 98% national average.

However, the data also shows that the average value of assets held by Scheduled Tribes(STs) was higher compared to Scheduled Castes.

Covid-19 Impact on Poverty

The multidimensional poverty index does not show the deprivation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the Pew Research Centre study indicates that India may have added 75 million poor because of the disruption caused due to Covid-19.

Source: This post is based on the article Statsguru: Six charts explain another dimension of poverty in India published in Business Standard on 18th October 2021.

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