Volume XXII |

Geographical analysis of multidimensional poverty in India from 2005-2006 to 2021: An emerging scenario

Abstract: The present study has made a thorough investigation into the spatial clustering, trend, and intensity of multidimensional poverty in India between 2005–2006 and 2021. Data has been obtained from the global multidimensional poverty report [developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and UNDP] and the national report of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) for 2021 [prepared by NITI Aayog] for India based on the NFHS-3 and NFHS-4 datasets. The study shows that, despite significant interstate disparities, multidimensional poverty in India has decreased from 0.279 in 2005–2006 to 0.118 in 2021. States like Bihar, Jharkhand continue to experience extreme multidimensional poverty. The study demonstrates that even though the intensity of poverty has remained relatively constant, the poorer states are significantly more advanced in reducing poverty than the nation’s wealthier states. This suggests a pattern of pro-poor poverty reduction. Besides the study explores indicator-wise deprivation of MPI among the states and it is witnessed that Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tripura, and Bihar have made splendid progress in reducing deprivation in different indicators (antenatal care, electricity, drinking water, assets) of multidimensional poverty, while the magnitude of deprivation is acute in several indicators like nutrition, cooking fuel, sanitation, and housing in these states. Based on the analysis, the present study suggests that India should undertake target-based interventions in poverty-prone regions to reduce poverty.