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Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021: What is Multidimensional Poverty and India's Rank?

Tulika Tandon

Multidimensional Poverty Index was launched by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) in 2010. MPI is the idea that poverty is not unidimensional. 

The index states that poverty does not just depend on one factor such as income, instead it is multidimensional. Take a look at all the details covered by MPI below.

What is the definition of poor as per MPI?

A person is called poor if he/she is deprived in one third or more (more than 33%) of the weighted indicators. If any person is deprived of half or more of the weighted indicators he is considered living in poverty. 

MPI recognises poverty using various dimensions compared to a conventional methodology using only income as an indicator. 

Dimensions used by MPI:

There are three basic dimensions used in MPI and ten indicators. These are:

Education: This includes the years of schooling and child enrolment which must be 1/6 weightage each making the total 2/6. 

Health: Child mortality and nutrition are included in this carrying 1/6 weightage each. 

Standard of Living: It is inclusive of electricity, flooring, drinking water, sanitation, cooking fuel and assets which make 1/8 of weightage each.

The ten indicators happen to be:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Child Mortality 
  3. Years of Schooling
  4. School Attendance 
  5. Cooking fuel
  6. Sanitation
  7. Drinking water
  8. Electricity
  9. Housing
  10. Assets

What does the index measure?

The index shows the proportion of poor in the place and the average number of deprivation each poor person of the country experiences. 

Multidimensional Poverty Index: Global Data

As per the data collected by UNDP, 1.3 billion people are poor multidimensionally

Almost half of the children of the world under the age of 18 also fall in this category. 

85% of the poor live in Sub Saharan Africa or South Asia. 

Two-Thirds of the multidimensionally poor people worldwide live in households where no woman or girl completed 6 years of schooling as a minimum. This makes 836 million people in that category. 

227 million Indians are multidimensional poor

As per the data collected of the Living Standard- 1 billion people are exposed to solid cooking fuels and 1 billion others are living with inadequate sanitation. Another billion have substandard housing. 

788 million people lack improved drinking water as per report 

Status of India: Multidimensional Poverty Index

  1. India stands at 62nd position in the index
  2. MPI is informative of the intensity of multidimensional poverty among the castes and tribes among individuals who may not be a member of any caste or tribe. 
  3. The report states that five out of six multidimensionally poor people from India are from lower tribes or castes. 
  4. 9.4% of the Scheduled Tribe group lives in multidimensional poverty 
  5. 33.33% of the Scheduled Caste group lives in multidimensional poverty 
  6. 27.2% of the OBCs in India also fall under the MPI group
  7. Another finding of the report is that almost 12% of the Indian population lives in female-based households. 
GK Quiz on Demographic Dividend and Demographic Index GK Quiz on Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI)

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