Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI)

The Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) has been developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) for the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP) forthcoming 2010 Human Development Report. This is a new index and attempts to capture more than just income poverty at the household level. It is composed of ten indicators: years of schooling and child enrollment (education); child mortality and nutrition (health); and electricity, flooring, drinking water, sanitation, cooking fuel and assets (standard of living). Each education and health indicator has a 1/6 weight, each standard of living indicator a 1/18 weight. This composite indicator made up of ten markers of education, health and standard of living achievement levels has revealed that 645 million people or 55% of India’s population is poor. Kerala is the only state in which the poor constitute less than 20%, and the states which are perceived to be rich such as Haryana, Gujarat and Karnataka, more than 40% of the population is poor by the new composite measure. Based on the MPI, Bihar has by far the most poor of any state in the country, with 81.4% of its population defined as poor, which is close to 12% more than the next worst state of Uttar Pradesh. However, there is a significant variation between the Planning Commission’s figures. As per the Planning Commission’s figures, 41.4% of Bihar and 32.8% of UP is poor.

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