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135 Mln People Moved Out of Poverty in India in 5 Years: Report

Nearly 135 million people moved out of multidimensional poverty on the yardstick of health, education, and the overall standard of living, over the past five years in India, a report released by the federal government’s think-tank NITI Aayog has said.

Improvements in nutrition, years of schooling, sanitation, and cooking fuel played a significant role in bringing down poverty across the country, said the report on Monday.

This was the second edition of the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) which represents the country’s progress in reducing multidimensional poverty between two surveys, namely the National Family Heath Survey (NFHS)-4 carried out in the year 2015-16 and the NFHS-5 carried out in the year 2019-21.

The broad methodology followed during the survey aligned with the global methodology, the NITI Aayog said in a statement.

The National MPI measures simultaneous deprivations across the three equally weighted dimensions of health, education, and standard of living, said the survey findings.

According to the report, India registered a significant decline of 9.89 percentage points in the number of multidimensionally poor from 24.85 percent in 2015-16 to 14.96 percent in 2019-2021. The rural areas witnessed the fastest decline in poverty from 32.59 percent to 19.28 percent.

During the same period, the urban areas saw a reduction in poverty from 8.65 percent to 5.27 percent. The northern state of Uttar Pradesh registered the largest decline in the number of poor with 34.3 million people escaping multidimensional poverty.

“The Federal Government’s dedicated focus on improving access to sanitation, nutrition, cooking fuel, financial inclusion, drinking water, and electricity has led to significant advancements in these areas. All 12 parameters of the MPI have shown marked improvements,” said the report in its findings.