Bihar, with its dismal scores across key development indicators such as nutrition, child and adolescent mortality, maternal health, years of schooling, sanitation and electricity, has topped the list of states with the largest share of population who are poor, according to think tank Niti Aayog’s report, which has identified 25.01% of the country’s population as “multi-dimensionally poor”.
More than 50% of Bihar’s population has been classified as poor under the national Multi-dimensional Poverty Index, followed by Jharkhand (42.2%), Uttar Pradesh (37.8%), Madhya Pradesh (36.7%) and Meghalaya (32.7%). Kerala has the least number of poor with only 0.7% of its population classified as such. Among the Union territories, 27.4% of Dadra and Nagar Haveli’s population is poor, according to the MPI parameters.
“The headcount ratio answers the question: ‘How many are poor?’ India’s national MPI identifies 25.01% of the population as multi-dimensionally poor,” the report. The headcount ratio measures the multi-dimensionally poor in the total population.
The data showed 51.9% of the population in Bihar is deprived of nutrition, followed by Jharkhand (47.8%), MP (45.5%) and Uttar Pradesh (44.5%). Sikkim has the lowest percentage of population deprived of nutrition at 13.3%.
According to the report, a household is considered deprived if any child between the ages of 0 to 59 months, or woman between the ages of 15 to 49 years or man between the ages of 15 to 54 years — for whom nutritional information is available — is found to be undernourished.
The national MPI baseline report based on the National Family Health Survey-4 (2015-16) has been developed by Niti Aayog in consultation with 12 ministries and in partnership with state governments and the index publishing agencies — Oxford University’s Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and United Nations Development Programme.
Uttar Pradesh is on top of the list with a population of nearly 5% categorised as deprived under child and adolescent mortality, followed by Bihar (4.6%), Madhya Pradesh (3.6%), Chattisgrah ( 3.3%) and Jharkhand (3.3%). Under maternal health, Bihar tops the chart with 45.6% categorised as deprived, followed by UP (35.5%), Jharkhand (33.1%) and Nagaland (33.1%).
Among UTs, Delhi has a share of 15.2% of the population categorised as deprived under maternal health. A household is deprived if any woman in the family, who has given birth in the five years preceding the survey, has not received at least four ante-natal care visits for the most recent birth, or has not received aid rom medical personnel during the most recent childbirth.