National Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 Baseline Report released by Niti Aayog

In November 2021, Niti Aayog released National Multidimensional Poverty Index Baseline Report based on National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4). Earlier, Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 was released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

History of Poverty Estimation in India

  • The history of poverty estimation in India dates back to as early as 1901 when Dadabhai Naoroji estimated poverty in the country based on the cost of a subsistence diet.
  • In 1938, the National Planning Committee suggested a poverty line estimation based on living standards. This was followed by the authors of the Bombay Plan in 1944.
  • Various committees, working groups and scholars including the working group of 1962, Dandekar and Rath in 1971
  • and the Y.K. Alagh taskforce in 1979 were engaged in the estimating the headline statistic of poverty to inform public policy.
  • Similarly, the Expert Groups under Lakdawala (1993) and Tendulkar (2009) and the Rangarajan Committee (2014) undertook the exercise of estimating monetary poverty.

National Multidimensional Poverty Index Baseline Report


  • The MPI seeks to measure poverty across its multiple dimensions and in effect complements existing poverty statistics based on per capita consumption expenditure.
  • According to Global MPI 2021, India’s rank is 66 out of 109 countries. The National MPI is aimed at deconstructing the Global MPI and creating a globally aligned and yet customised India MPI for drawing up comprehensive Reform Action Plans with the larger goal of improving India’s position in the Global MPI rankings.
  • The MPI has three equally weighted dimensions – health, education, and standard of living. These three dimensions are represented by 12 indicators such as nutrition, school attendance, years of schooling, drinking water, sanitation, housing, bank accounts among others.

Methodology & Data:

  • India’s MPI measure uses the globally accepted and robust methodology developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  • This baseline report of the national MPI measure is based on the reference period of 2015-16 of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4).

Conclusions & Significance

  • As per the index, 51.91% of the population in Bihar is poor, followed by Jharkhand (42.16%), Uttar Pradesh (37.79%), Madhya Pradesh (36.65%) and Meghalaya (32.67%). On the other hand, Kerala registered lowest population poverty levels (0.71%), followed by Puducherry (1.72%), Lakshadweep (1.82%), Goa (3.76%) and Sikkim (3.82%).
  • Other States and UTs where less than 10% of the population are poor include Tamil Nadu (4.89%), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (4.30%), Delhi (4.79%), Punjab (5.59%), Himachal Pradesh (7.62%) and Mizoram (9.8%).

References & Further Reading:

  • Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 – Download PDF
  • MPI Rajasthan Niti Aayog Base Report – Download PDF
  • Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 Complete Report – Download PDF

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