The Multidimensional Poverty Index is meant to provide a “multidimensional picture” of the populations living in poverty across the world. It is in addition to the Human Poverty Index, which was included for the first time in the annual Human Development Reports of the United Nation in 1997.
The MPI was prepared by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, which is supported by the United Nations Development Program. The new measure of global poverty will be a part of the upcoming 20th anniversary edition of the UNDP Human Development Index report in late October.
The findings under this new measure were made public Monday in London as well as online on websites of OPHI and the UNDP Human Development Report.
The analysis says that eight Indian States – Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal – have 421 million poor people which is more 11 million than the 26 poorest African countries combined. Factors such as education, health outcomes, assets and services are measured as “deprivations” in each of the households to draw the complete picture of acute poverty at regional, national and global levels.
In an earlier estimate, released last year, an expert group had reported that “every third Indian is living below poverty line” in India. Among the states housing the most number of poor were Orissa and Bihar while in Nagaland, Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir, the number of poor is the least.
That estimate was carried out by a team headed by Suresh Tendulkar, ex-chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Council.
Tendulkar had mentioned in his report that about 41.8 per cent of rural Indians were forced to survive on about $10 a month, which they need to spend on necessities like food, clothes, footwear, electricity and fuel. The situation is slightly better in the urban scenario, where the poor have to survive on a monthly per capita expenditure of about $12.