Wednesday, March 21, 2012

29.8 percent of population below poverty line in India in 2009-10

According to the latest figures released by India’s National Planning Commission, the headcount poverty in India was 29.8 percent in 2009-10 (rural 33.8 percent and urban 20.9 percent). This is a 7.3 percentage points decline in headcount poverty between 2004-05 and 2009-10 (rural poverty declining by 8.0 percentage points and urban poverty declining by 4.8 percentage points). According to Census 2011, India had total population of 1.21 billion (rural 68.84 percent and urban 31.16 percent).

Meanwhile, the WB’s US$1.25 a day estimate puts India’s headcount poverty at 37.37 percent in 2008, down from 41.64 percent in 2005 (a 4.23 percentage points drop). When I checked the data, the WB did not compute India’s total poverty at US$1.25 a day in 2010. Anyway, it has estimates for rural India and urban India for 2010. The headcount poverty at US$1.25 a day in rural India and urban India was 34.28 percent  and 28.93 percent in 2010.

Poverty in India
NPC_March 2012 WB_Feb 2012
Poverty (%) - national poverty line (MRP method) Poverty (%) - US$1.25 a day
Total Total
2009-10 29.8 2008 37.37
2004-05 37.2 2005 41.64
1993-94 45.3 1994 49.4
Rural Rural
2009-10 33.8 2010 34.28
2004-05 41.8 2005 43.83
1993-94 50.1 1994 52.46
Urban Urban
2009-10 20.9 2010 28.93
2004-05 25.7 2005 36.16
1993-94 31.8 1994 40.77

  • Poverty ratio in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttarakhand has declined by about 10 percentage points and more. But, in Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland, poverty in 2009-10 has increased. Some of the bigger states such as Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh have seen only marginal decline in poverty ratio, particularly in rural areas.
  • In rural areas, Scheduled Tribes exhibit the highest level of poverty (47.4%), followed by Scheduled Castes (SCs) (42.3%), and Other Backward Castes (OBC) (31.9%), against 33.8% for all classes. In urban areas, SCs have HCR of 34.1% followed by STs (30.4%) and OBC (24.3%) against 20.9% for all classes. In rural Bihar and Chhattisgarh, nearly two-third of SCs and STs are poor, whereas in states such as Manipur, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh the poverty ratio for these groups is more than half.
  • Nearly 50% of agricultural laborers and 40% of other laborers are below the poverty line in rural areas, whereas in urban areas the poverty ratio for casual laborers is 47.1%. In the agriculturally prosperous state of Haryana, 55.9% agricultural laborers are poor, whereas in Punjab it is 35.6%.

The latest Economic Survey 2011/12 released by India’s Ministry of Finance states that GDP growth rate for 2011/12 is estimated at 6.9% (factor cost at 2004-05 prices). The Indian economy is expected to growth at 7.6% in 2012-13 and 8.6% in 2013-14. Here is more. In South Asia, Bangladesh, followed by India, has the highest proportion of poor people below the poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

Here is a discussion on the poverty rate in Nepal. For Nepal, the poverty headcount at $1.25 a day (PPP) was 24.8% in 2010 [7.4 million people] and 53.1% in 2003 [13.9 million people]. It was 68% in 1995 [14.7 million people]. The headcount poverty rate based on national poverty line in 2010/11 was 24.82 percent. The poverty estimate by WB and NPC is very close in the case of Nepal. But, the one in India is quite different. The WB estimate shows that there are more people living below US$1.25 a day than India’s national poverty line (monthly per capita of IRs 672.8 in rural India and IRs 859.6 in urban India—or IRs 22.4 in rural India and IRs 28.7 in urban India ). As per Tendulkar Committee recommendations, the state wise urban poverty lines of 2004-05 are updated for 2009-10 based on price rise during this period using Fisher price indices. The state wise rural-urban price differential in 2009-10 has been applied on state specific urban poverty lines to get state specific rural poverty lines.