GITNUX MARKETDATA REPORT 2024

Poverty In India Statistics: Market Report & Data

Highlights: The Most Important Poverty In India Statistics

  • 27.9% of the population was living below the poverty line in India in 2021.
  • Nearly 30% of India's children under 5 are moderately or severely underweight.
  • The disparity between the richest and the poorest in India has doubled in the last decade.
  • In 2011–12, the Indian government stated 22% of its population is below its official poverty limit.
  • In 2020, the Indian state of Bihar had the highest poverty rate in the country at nearly 52%.
  • Women and girls from India's lowest casts and tribal communities are most vulnerable to poverty.
  • The share of poor in rural areas is about 25.7%, whereas in urban areas it is 13.7%.
  • In 2021, poverty rates in the west and south India were significantly lower at around 20% compared to over 50% in Bihar and Jharkhand.
  • Across India, it has been found that nearly 8.1 million children are out of school and are engaged in child labor.
  • Starting from the 1990s, poverty reduced from 45.3% in 1993-94 to 21.9% in 2011.
  • Nearly 194.6 million people are undernourished in India.
  • India ranked 94 among 107 nations in terms of hunger, and remains in the 'severe' hunger category.
  • As of 2021, India had the largest number of people living in multidimensional poverty in the world at over 369 million people.
  • Urban poverty rate in India was down to 9.4% from 20.9% in 2004-05.
  • The poverty gap at $1.90 a day (2011 PPP) (%): for India is 5.5% in 2011.
  • Nearly 38% of children in India are stunted—a sign of chronic undernutrition.
  • Majority of the Indian population (70%) lives in rural areas, where the incidence of poverty is more.
  • Only about 14.4% of the households in India had access to the internet according to the Indian census 2011.

Table of Contents

Welcome to a comprehensive exploration set to illustrate the statistical landscape of poverty in India. Within this blog, we delve into the intricacies of India’s poverty scenario, providing an in-depth look at the illuminating figures and startling facts. From rural to urban disparities, differences among states, demographic divisions, to the impact of education and unemployment on poverty levels – this blog encapsulates it all. Unfold a significant part of India’s socio-economic character through this robust analysis of Poverty in India Statistics.

The Latest Poverty In India Statistics Unveiled

27.9% of the population was living below the poverty line in India in 2021.

Highlighting that 27.9% of the population lived below the poverty line in India in 2021 underscores the persistent challenge of poverty in the subcontinent. Painted vividly, it’s a stark testament to unequal wealth distribution, rural-urban divide, and the socioeconomic hindrances faced by nearly a third of the populace. This proportion not only contextualizes the severity of poverty in India but also sets a numerical foundation for understanding the effectiveness of government policies, welfare schemes, and the urgency for robust anti-poverty strategies in a broader narrative of the blog post about Poverty in India Statistics.

Nearly 30% of India’s children under 5 are moderately or severely underweight.

Highlighting that nearly 30% of India’s children under five are moderately or severely underweight paints a stark picture of the harsh realities of poverty in India. The high prevalence of undernutrition amongst this young, vulnerable demographic illustrates the depth of poverty, as adequate food and nutrition are key pillars of health and well-being. It underscores the systematic lack of access to basic needs and services, a direct implication of poverty that is threatening the future generations of the country. This chilling statistic is a cry for urgent action as it not merely an indicator of the scale of poverty but also acts as a testament to the grim prospect of a stunted human capital development in India.

The disparity between the richest and the poorest in India has doubled in the last decade.

Highlighting the stark economic divide, the stat that India’s wealth disparity has doubled in the past decade provides a critical dimension to the poverty discourse. Within the framework of the blog post about Poverty in India Statistics, this fact underscores the seriousness of income inequality, suggesting that the fruits of economic growth are not equally shared but are disproportionately pocketed by the wealthy. At the same time, many citizens stay trapped in poverty. This quantifiable evidence of widening inequality will likely stoke reader’s interests, raise more inquiry about the distribution of resources in Indian society, and illustrates the urgent need for effective poverty alleviation strategies.

In 2011–12, the Indian government stated 22% of its population is below its official poverty limit.

Unraveling the verities of poverty in India, it is eye-opening to note that in 2011-2012, the Indian government acknowledged a significant 22% of its populace was languishing beneath the official poverty threshold. This quantified depiction illustrates a disquieting facet of the Indian socio-economic landscape of that time and serves as an anchoring point for extending discussions on prevalent poverty conditions. It underscores the severity of destitution faced by nearly a quarter of India’s population, a striking statistic indispensable for any discourse aiming to spotlight and unravel the complexities of poverty in the world’s second most populous country.

In 2020, the Indian state of Bihar had the highest poverty rate in the country at nearly 52%.

Drawing our attention to the alarming 2020 statistic, Bihar stood out within the larger mosaic of India embodying a severe disparity. Notably, the state registered a staggering 52% poverty rate, the highest throughout the Indian nation. In a blog post scrutinizing Poverty In India Statistics, this statistic is paramount. It not only underscores the vast economic inequality within the subcontinent but also provides a tangible case study to delve into the associated causes, comparisons with other regions, and progress made since 2020. Consequently, Bihar’s position serves as a vital cornerstone in painting a comprehensive picture of poverty in India, shaping a deep understanding of the issue’s depth and paving the way for strategic solutions.

Women and girls from India’s lowest casts and tribal communities are most vulnerable to poverty.

In weaving a narrative on the stark realities of Poverty In India Statistics, it’s pivotal to underscore the vulnerability of women and girls from India’s lowest casts and tribal communities. This unique subgroup, often shackled by both, socio-economic disadvantage and gender inequality, finds itself mired in an enduring abyss of poverty. This statistic illuminates the double jeopardy faced by these marginalized sections and hence, paints a vivid picture of India’s uphill battle against poverty. Its revelation not merely sharpens the focus on the marginalized but also bolsters discussions on targeted interventions to uplift these communities from the clutches of economic hardships.

The share of poor in rural areas is about 25.7%, whereas in urban areas it is 13.7%.

Delving into the fabric of Indian demographics portrayed by the aforementioned statistics reveals a striking distinction between the pattern of poverty in rural and urban settings. The significantly higher prevalence of poverty in rural India, indicated at a substantial 25.7%, stands in stark contrast to the comparatively lower 13.7% in urban areas. A figure so telling underscores not only disparities in wealth distribution but also the varying scale and intensity of challenges faced by rural inhabitants. Thus, the statistics serve as a flashing beacon, ushering discussions and policies towards the remediation of rural poverty, lending this post on Poverty In India Statistics a heightened relevance and necessity.

In 2021, poverty rates in the west and south India were significantly lower at around 20% compared to over 50% in Bihar and Jharkhand.

The aforementioned statistic that indicates the stark contrast between poverty rates in the west and south of India, at approximately 20%, compared to the dramatic over 50% in Bihar and Jharkhand encapsulates the regional inequality present within the country’s socio-economic fabric. In a blog post about Poverty in India Statistics, this figure serves as an acute representation of the disparate distribution of poverty across different geographical regions. It underlines the urgency to address not just national, but regional poverty rates, shifting the focus towards state-specific strategies and policies. It also unravels the interconnected narrative of economic disparities, resource allocation, and socio-political dynamics ingrained in the Indian context.

Across India, it has been found that nearly 8.1 million children are out of school and are engaged in child labor.

The chilling revelation that nearly 8.1 million children in India are forsaking education for labor is a stark illustration of the gripping poverty in the nation. This daunting statistic casts a grave picture of the detrimental effects of dire economic conditions on India’s youngest citizens, severing them from their rightful avenue of a decent life – education. The potency of this figure reverberates through the realm of child rights, urban and rural disparity, gender inequality, and societal structures, thereby unveiling the complex pattern of poverty that swathes India. Consequently, it serves as a potent lens for capturing the pivotal poverty dynamics within India, reaffirming the pressing necessity for comprehensive and targeted interventions.

Starting from the 1990s, poverty reduced from 45.3% in 1993-94 to 21.9% in 2011.

Unveiling a compelling story of progress, the statistic showcases an impressive halving of poverty in India from 45.3% in 1993-94 to 21.9% in 2011. In the context of a blog post centered on Poverty in India Statistics, this data vividly illustrates the effectiveness of poverty-alleviation strategies implemented over the span of two decades. It provides a quantitative testimony to the socioeconomic transformations experienced by the nation during this period, engendering a sense of hope and validation about the potential benefits of targeted interventions. Moreover, it offers an analytical anchor to explore the factors driving this change, thereby deepening our understanding of how poverty can be further addressed in the Indian context.

Nearly 194.6 million people are undernourished in India.

Painting the grim portrait of food deprivation in India, consider the staggering number of approximately 194.6 million people who experience undernourishment. This figure underlines the harsh reality of not just hunger, but the multifaceted nuances of poverty pervading the country. Woven deep into the fabric of this blog post on Poverty In India Statistics, the undernourishment data not only implies inadequate food intake, but it also heralds the pressing issues relating to quality healthcare, barriers in education, limited access to clean water, sanitation, and exorbitant levels of inequality. Thus, plunging us into the epicentre of a profound socio-economic development crisis that India is grappling with, it cries out for urgent attention and action.

India ranked 94 among 107 nations in terms of hunger, and remains in the ‘severe’ hunger category.

Highlighted as a critical factor in passive socio-economic disparities throughout India, the alarming rank of India at 94 among 107 nations in the context of hunger reflects a predominant issue of poverty. Relegated to the severe category presents a vivid depiction of the aggressive vulnerability that plagues countless households in the nation. In an encompassing blog post about Poverty in India Statistics, this fact serves as a poignant benchmark, reflecting upon the grim proportion of individuals undergoing relentless hunger and unfulfilled elementary necessities, thereby substantiating the rampant nature of poverty across India. Such a significant number emphasizes the government’s urgent need to employ comprehensive and effective poverty alleviation strategies, ensuring priority measures in food security and socio-economic inclusion.

As of 2021, India had the largest number of people living in multidimensional poverty in the world at over 369 million people.

In a blog post disentangling poverty in India through statistics, it’s vital to acknowledge the sobering reality that over 369 million people in the country were living in multidimensional poverty as of 2021 — a figure that paints India as home to the highest number of individuals wrestling with such conditions globally. This figure serves not merely as a disheartening symbol of contemporary poverty levels but also as a crucial comparison benchmark for evaluating India’s progress or regression year-on-year. Accordingly, this statistic embodies the unfinished quest for poverty alleviation, illustrating vividly the breadth and depth of the challenge that Indian society and leaders continue to face.

Urban poverty rate in India was down to 9.4% from 20.9% in 2004-05.

Highlighting the significant reduction in urban poverty from 20.9% in 2004-05 to 9.4% exemplifies progress in India’s socio-economic landscape. Within the discussion of poverty in India, it underscores the successful implementation of poverty reduction programs, particularly in urban areas. This pivotal shift not only communicates the efficacy of specific policies but prompts curiosity about replicating such successes in rural areas. This dramatic reduction paints a brighter future for the nation’s poverty eradication efforts, even as it calls into focus the persistent challenges faced by rural India in surmounting poverty.

The poverty gap at $1.90 a day (2011 PPP) (%): for India is 5.5% in 2011.

Integrating a compelling statistic, such as India’s 5.5% poverty gap at $1.90 a day (2011 PPP) in 2011, provides a captivating insight into the harsh reality faced by a considerable fraction of the population. This figure reveals a striking truth about economic disparity in India, highlighting the percentage of the population falling short of the poverty line. Its pertinence is heightened in a discussion about poverty in India, where it serves as a quantifiable testimony to the extent of impoverishment and the urgent need for sustainable solutions. Such statistical data are critical for gauging progress, formulating strategies, and measuring the efficacy of poverty alleviation measures in a country with diverse demographics like India.

Nearly 38% of children in India are stunted—a sign of chronic undernutrition.

Highlighting the alarming figure that nearly 38% of children in India are stunted, a grim indicator of chronic undernutrition, paints a stark picture of the pressing issue of poverty in the nation. As part of a broader discussion on Poverty in India Statistics, this data embodies the deep-seated troubles confronted by this developing nation. It signals not just the widespread lack of access to adequate food, but also the severe consequences such socioeconomic problems can have on the health, growth, cognitive abilities, and ultimately the potential of a generation. It underlines the immediate need for effective poverty alleviation measures to address undernutrition and its associated challenges, making it a focal point in the crusade against poverty.

Majority of the Indian population (70%) lives in rural areas, where the incidence of poverty is more.

Highlighting the fact that 70% of the Indian population resides in rural areas – regions that are unfortunately marked by heightened poverty levels – serves as a potent reflection of the gravity of India’s poverty situation. This figure underscores the urgency of addressing rural poverty in India and elevating the standards of living in these areas. When discussing Poverty in India, this statistic sets a backdrop for understanding why the issue is so pervasive and complex. Its implications extend to various areas such as public policy, resource allocation and socio-economic strategies. Ignoring such a compelling statistic, would be overlooking a crucial component of understanding and addressing poverty in India.

Only about 14.4% of the households in India had access to the internet according to the Indian census 2011.

Highlighting the statistic that a mere 14.4% of households in India had internet access, according to the 2011 census, throws open a window into the entrenched digital divide and the resulting economic disparities prevalent in the country. This data point is telling in the context of a blog post on Poverty in India, as it underscores the limitations in access to information and opportunities for the majority of Indian households. This absence of digital literacy and access compounds the challenges of escaping the vicious cycle of poverty, potentially inhibiting educational and career prospects, limiting employment opportunities and restricting entrepreneurship potential—all critical factors in the fight against systemic poverty.

Conclusion

The poverty rate in India has significantly decreased over the years, yet it remains a critical issue. Millions still live under harsh conditions, with inadequate access to basic needs like clean water, nutritious food, education and healthcare. The wide income disparity continues and the rural-urban divide further exacerbates the issue. Although government policies aim at poverty reduction, the success hinges greatly on their effective and timely implementation. Hence, it is urgent to sustain the momentum through comprehensive and inclusive growth strategies to alleviate poverty in India, a goal demanding collective efforts from individuals, communities, and the government.

References

0. – https://www.www.indiatoday.in

1. – https://www.economictimes.indiatimes.com

2. – https://www.www.worldbank.org

3. – https://www.www.unicef.org

4. – https://www.www.ruralindiaonline.org

5. – https://www.www.ilo.org

6. – https://www.www.globalhungerindex.org

7. – https://www.data.worldbank.org

8. – https://www.www.brookings.edu

9. – https://www.in.one.un.org

10. – https://www.ophi.org.uk

11. – https://www.censusindia.gov.in

12. – https://www.www.statista.com

13. – https://www.www.oxfamindia.org

FAQs

What is the current poverty rate in India?

The World Bank reported in 2020 an estimated poverty rate of 21.9% in India, making a total of more than 270 million people living in poverty. However, due to COVID-19 impacts and recent data limitations, this figure might have changed.

What factors contribute to the high poverty rate in India?

The high poverty rate in India can be attributed to several factors including a lack of access to education, scarce employment opportunities particularly in rural areas, social hierarchies that suppress low caste groups, high population growth rate, and insufficient healthcare infrastructure.

How has poverty in India changed over the years?

Over the past decades, poverty in India has decreased significantly. In 1970, over half of India's population lived in poverty. Progress in reducing poverty picked up speed in the 1990s and 2000s, however, absolute numbers remain high due to India's large population.

What are the impacts of poverty in India?

Poverty impacts India in several ways. It leads to malnutrition and a high child mortality rate, limits access to education, causes social unrest, and impedes economic growth. Additionally, it hinders the country's progress towards achieving sustainable development goals.

What actions are being taken to reduce poverty in India?

The Indian government and multiple NGOs are implementing several measures to tackle poverty. These include promoting access to education, implementing social safety net programs, improving rural infrastructure, encouraging small-scale businesses, and investing in health care. The government’s flagship program, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), guarantees 100 days of wage employment per year to rural households.

How we write our statistic reports:

We have not conducted any studies ourselves. Our article provides a summary of all the statistics and studies available at the time of writing. We are solely presenting a summary, not expressing our own opinion. We have collected all statistics within our internal database. In some cases, we use Artificial Intelligence for formulating the statistics. The articles are updated regularly.

See our Editorial Process.

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