Working Paper
Estimates of multidimensional poverty for India using NSSO-71 and -75

We measure multidimensional poverty in India using National Sample Survey Organization data from 2014–15 to 2017–18. We use income, health, education, and standard of living to measure the multidimensional poverty index (MPI).

The MPI headcount declined from 26.9 to 13.75 per cent over the study period. The all-India estimates indicate that 144 million people were lifted from poverty during this period.

We include different health dimensions, factoring in insurance, institutional coverage, antenatal care, and chronic conditions. Income is the dominant instrument with the highest contribution to the MPI, followed by insurance. Cooking, sanitation, and education also have significant weights.

The decline in deprivation is steeper in rural areas than urban areas. Our state-level estimates reveal that 20 states report less than 10 per cent headcount poverty, up from six states. COVID-19 may lead to reversals of these gains, with poverty rising to pre-2014–15 levels, rising more steeply in rural areas.