Infographics & story | Over 50% of Bihar’s population poor: Niti poverty index

The index, which names Jharkhand (42.16%) and Uttar Pradesh (37.79%) next to Bihar, measures poverty across the three dimensions of health, education and standard of living, while complementing existing poverty statistics based on per capita consumption expenditure

Representative photo: iStock

According to the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) formulated by the Niti Ayog, Bihar at 51.91 per cent has the highest number of people who are multidimensionaly poor, followed by Jharkhand (42.16 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (37.79 per cent).

Madhya Pradesh which has 36.65 per cent poor among its population comes fourth in the index, followed by Meghalaya (32.67 per cent).

According to the report, MPI employs globally accepted methodology, developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It aims to measure poverty across various dimensions while complementing existing poverty statistics based on per capita consumption expenditure.


The index measures poverty across the three equally weighted dimensions of health, education and standard of living, and these are split into 12 indices including nutrition, school attendance, years of schooling, drinking water, sanitation and housing and bank accounts among others.

The states of Kerala (0.71 per cent), Goa (3.76 per cent), Sikkim (3.82 per cent), Tamil Nadu (4.89 per cent) and Punjab (5.59 per cent) have reported the lowest poverty figures. The poorest Union territories are Dadra and Nagar Haveli (27.36 per cent), Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh (12.58 per cent), Daman and Diu (6.82 per cent) and Chandigarh (5.97 per cent).

Puducherry at 1.72 per cent has the lowest proportion of poor among Union territories, followed by Lakshadweep (1.82 per cent), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (4.30 per cent) and Delhi (4.79 per cent).

“The development of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index of India is an important contribution towards instituting a public policy tool which monitors multidimensional poverty, informs evidence-based and focused interventions, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind. This report presents an in-depth analysis of the headcount ratio and intensity of multidimensional poverty at the national, state/UT, district levels,” Niti Ayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said in his foreword.

He said the baseline report of the national MPI measure is based on the reference period of 2015-2016 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework, adopted by 193 countries in 2015, has redefined development policies, government priorities, and metrics for measuring development progress across the world. The SDG which encompasses 17 global goals and 169 targets is wider in scope than its predecessor Millennium Development Goals (MDG).