Poverty in India

Some startling information...

India is home to roughly one-third of all poor people in the world. It also has a higher proportion of its population living on less than $2 per day than even sub-Saharan Africa. That is the sobering news coming out of the World Bank’s latest estimates on global poverty.The fine print of the estimates also shows that the rate of decline of poverty in India was faster between 1981 and 1990 than it was between 1990 and 2005.This is likely to give fresh ammunition to those who maintain that economic reforms have failed to reduce poverty at a faster rate.India, according to the new estimates, has 456 million people, or about 42% of the population, living below the new international poverty line of $1.25 per day. The Indian poor also constitute 33% of the global poor, which is pegged at 1.4 billion people.India also has 828 million people, or 75.6% of the population, living below $2 a day. Sub-Saharan Africa, considered the world’s poorest region, has 72.2% of its population, or 551 million people, below the $2-a-day level. The estimates are based on the recently recalculated purchasing power parity exchange rates, which makes comparisons across countries possible. The dollar exchange rates being referred to here are not the ones used in normal exchange rates. Although the World Bank is still to release its full report on the latest estimates on global poverty, a briefing note sent by it had some of the data which showed that the poverty rate—those below $1.25/day level—for India had come down from 59.8% in 1981 to 51.3% by 1990, or 8.5 percentage points over nine years. Between 1990 and 2005, it declined to 41.6%, a drop of 9.7 percentage points over 15 years, clearly a much slower rate of decline.An FAQ on the new estimates, also provided by the Bank, makes no mention of this and states, “India has maintained even progress against poverty since the 1980s, with the poverty rate declining at a little under one percentage point per year.’’ The note does point out that while India had 421 million below the $1.25-aday mark in 1981, that number had gone up to 456 million by 2005. Thus, while there has been a decline in the poverty ratio, the ranks of the poor are still swelling. According to the note, the new international poverty line of $1.25 PPP per day has been arrived at as “the average poverty line found in the poorest 10-20 countries’’. In other words, more than four out of 10 Indians live below what the world’s poorest countries consider the poverty line.The new estimates are sobering not just for India but for the developing world as a whole as they reveal higher levels of poverty than earlier estimated. For instance, even in China’s case, they suggest that 208 million people—16% of the population—live below the new international poverty line rather than the 130 million estimated earlier. However, that is still a sharp decline from the 730 million (84%) poor in that country in 1981. East Asia, in fact, is the region that has recorded the sharpest reductions in poverty—from about 79% of the population in 1981 to 18% in 2005. In contrast, Eastern Europe and Central Asia—broadly the former Soviet bloc—have seen poverty rates go up from 1.6% to 5%. What is noticeable in this region is the decline in poverty until 1987, when it was down to just 1% of the population, and the sharp rise subsequently.For sub-Saharan Africa, the worrying sign is that poverty rates are virtually unchanged from 1981, which is why the Bank estimates that by 2015, this region may be home to one-third of the world’s poor.


marry said...

India is a developing country. Poverty is a big problem in India. Government should take drastic step to control Poverty in India.

taylor1940 said...

There are so many reason that last to poverty.Thus, some strict action must be taken by the Government of India to resolve such issues.