As many as 415 million people exited multidimensional poverty in India in 15 years (2005/06 to 2019/21), as per the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2022.


What is ‘multidimensional poverty’?

  • A person who is poor can suffer multiple disadvantages at the same time – for example they may have poor health or malnutrition, a lack of clean water or electricity, poor quality of work or little schooling.
  • Focusing on one factor alone, such as income, is not enough to capture the true reality of poverty.
  • Multidimensional Poverty is a measure of poverty that captures deprivations in education and access to basic infrastructure in addition to income or consumption at the USD 1.90 international poverty line (as per World Bank).


Major findings of the report

  • Across 111 countries, 2 billion people live in acute multidimensional poverty.
    • Half of these people (593 million) are children under age 18.
  • The developing region where the largest number of poor people live is Sub-Saharan Africa (nearly 579 million), followed by South Asia (385 million).
  • According to the report, based on 2020 population data, India has by far the largest poor people in the world (228.9 million), followed by Nigeria (96.7 million projected in 2020).
  • India’s Performance –
      • In India, 415 million people exited poverty between 2005/06 and 2019/21.
      • The report states that across states and UTs the fastest poverty reduction in relative terms was in Goa, followed by J&K, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
      • However, India continues to house the largest number of poor people worldwide (228.9 million) in 2020.
  • Impact of Covid-19 pandemic –
      • Simulations in 2020 suggested that the Covid-19 pandemic had set progress in reducing MPI values back by 3–10 years.
      • Updated data indicate that the setback at the global level is likely to be on the high end of those projections.
  • The report makes it clear that the most recent data for MPI were collected pre-pandemic, so the effect of Covid-19 and subsequent impact on poverty in India cannot be assessed yet.


About the ‘Multidimensional Poverty Index’

  • The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) is a key international resource that measures acute multidimensional poverty across more than 100 developing countries.
  • The MPI is published by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the UNDP’s Human Development Report Office.
  • The Index tracks deprivation across the following 3 dimensions and 10 indicators: nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing and household assets.
  • In India, it utilises the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) which is conducted under the aegis of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS).
  • The MPI ranges from 0 to 1, and higher values imply higher poverty.
  • By identifying who is poor, the nature of their poverty (their deprivation profile) and how poor they are (deprivation score), the global MPI complements the international USD 1.90/day poverty rate.
  • The 2022 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) uses the most recent comparable data available for 111 countries — 23 low-income countries, 85 middle-income countries and 3 high-income countries.
  • These countries are home to 1.2 billion (or 19.1 per cent world population) who live in poverty.
  • The global MPI shows who they are, where they live and what deprivations hold them back from achieving the wellbeing they deserve.