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Over Half of Bihar Population Poor: NITI Aayog’s Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index

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NITI Aayog’s first-ever Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) has said that Bihar has the highest proportion of people, at 51.91 per cent of the state’s population, who are multidimensionally poor. The state is followed by Jharkhand at 42.16 per cent and Uttar Pradesh at 37.79 per cent. The state also has the maximum number of malnourished people in the country; Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh come next.

The MPI seeks to measure poverty across its multiple dimensions and complements existing poverty statistics based on per capita consumption expenditure. The index is based on three critical dimensions of health, education and standard of living, which further are represented by 12 indicators such as nutrition, school attendance, years of schooling, drinking water, sanitation, housing, bank accounts, among others.

Kerala, Goa and Sikkim have the lowest percentage of population being multidimensionally poor at 0.71 per cent, 3.76 per cent and 3.82 per cent, respectively. This baseline report of the national MPI measure is based on the reference period of 2015-16 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).

“The development of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index of India is an important contribution towards instituting a public policy tool which monitors multidimensional poverty, informs evidence-based and focused interventions, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind. This report presents an in-depth analysis of the headcount ratio and intensity of multidimensional poverty at the national, state/UT and district levels,” said NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar in a foreword to the report.

Among the Union Territories (UTs), Dadra and Nagar Haveli (27.36 per cent), Jammu & Kashmir, and Ladakh (12.58), Daman & Diu (6.82 per cent) and Chandigarh (5.97 per cent) have emerged as the poorest UTs in India. The proportion of poor in Puducherry, at 1.72 per cent, is the lowest among the UTs, followed by Lakshadweep at 1.82 per cent, Andaman & Nicobar Islands at 4.30 per cent and Delhi at 4.79 per cent.

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