Discussion Paper

No. 2015-34 | May 06, 2015
Regional Estimates of Multidimensional Poverty in India


Using unit data from the Indian Human Development Survey (IHDS), 2004-05, this paper estimates and decompose the multidimensional poverty dynamics in 84 natural regions of India. Multidimensional poverty is measured in the dimensions of health, knowledge, income, employment and household environment using ten indicators and Alkire-Foster methodology. The unique contributions of the paper are inclusion of a direct economic variable (consumption expenditure) to quantify the living standard dimension, decomposition of MPI across the dimensions and the indicators and provide estimates at sub-national level.

Results indicate that about half of India's population are multidimensional poor with large regional variations. More than 70% of the population are multidimensional poor in the Mahanadi Basin, the southern region of Chhattisgarh and the Vindhya region of Madhya Pradesh, while it is less than 10% in the coastal regions of Maharashtra, Delhi, Goa, the mountainous region of Jammu and Kashmir, the Hills region and Plains region of Manipur, Puducherry and Sikkim. The decomposition of MPI indicates that economic dimension alone accounts for about one-third of multidimensional poverty in most of the regions of India. Based on these analyses, the authors suggest target based interventions in the poor regions to reduce poverty and inequality, and achieve the Millennium Development Goals in India.

Data Set

JEL Classification:

I, J, Z


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Cite As

Bidyadhar Dehury and Sanjay K. Mohanty (2015). Regional Estimates of Multidimensional Poverty in India. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2015-34, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2015-34

Comments and Questions

Nirajan Mainali - Namakar!
May 22, 2015 - 10:35

Does the explanation of poverty by UNDP and the Planning Commission, Government of India contradict? Does GOI will change its previous definition of multidimensional nature of poverty same as given by UN in near future?

SANJAY Mohanty - Reply
May 22, 2015 - 23:24

The Planning Commission, Govt of India measures poverty using only one dimensional i.e., consumption expenditure. The estimates of consumption poverty by Planning Commission is substantially lower than our estimates of multidimensional poverty. Since poverty is multidimensional concept, we suggest to shift to multidimensional poverty measures for India. In addition, the ...[more]

... planning commission estimates are provided only at state level where as we have provided these estimates at regional level (A state is comprises of several regions those have similar agro-climatic condition). Further, the UNDP provides estimates of multidimensional poverty but the economic dimension is missing. Moreover, it also does not provide estimates for regions of India

Nirajan Mainali - Namakar!
May 24, 2015 - 20:19

Thanks for your precise clarification. I found that multidimensional poverty described by my country Nepal (GON) is somewhat similar to India as Nepal is always inspired from India. You have mentioned the level of poverty of different states and done positive comparison among them. Its a quality job done from ...[more]

... you.

Dr. Rajesh K. Chauhan - Comment
June 05, 2015 - 09:06

See attached file

Anonymous - Thanx
June 15, 2015 - 15:49

Thank you Dr Chauhan.
Your comments are very useful.
We will change the typo in text.
We will explore with availability of NFHS 4 data.

Anonymous - Referee Report 1
June 15, 2015 - 15:33

See attached file

SANJAY Mohanty - Reply
June 22, 2015 - 13:22

We thank reviewer for detailed comments and suggestion. We are enclosing detailed reply to each of the comment /suggestion.

Anonymous - Referee Report 2
June 18, 2015 - 11:05

See attached file

SANJAY Mohanty - Reply
June 22, 2015 - 13:24

We thank reviewer for useful suggestions. We will include some of the changes in revised paper