Among poll-bound states, UP trails on poverty index, Goa best

There is wide variation between rural and urban poverty in five of the seven states — include Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Of the seven states headed into Assembly elections next year, Uttar Pradesh has the highest proportion of people who are multidimensionally poor, at 37.79 per cent of its total population, while Goa has the lowest ratio at 3.76 per cent.

There is wide variation between rural and urban poverty in five of the seven states — include Goa, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. There is also wide divergence in performance on the 12 indicators used to calculate the first ever Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) by the NITI Aayog. The national MPI, as per the 2015-16 National Family Health Survey, is 25.01 per cent.

Of UP’s 71 districts, as many as 64 have MPI higher than the national average. In Gujarat, 9 of 26 districts fall in this category; in Manipur, 4 of 9; and in Uttarakhand, 1 (Almora) of 13. On the other hand, all the districts of Punjab (20), Himachal (12) and Goa (2) have lower MPI than the national average.

The MPI is an indicator of deprivation across multiple dimensions and complements poverty statistics based on per capita consumption expenditure. It has three equally weighted dimensions — health, education, and standard of living — based on 12 indicators such as nutrition, school attendance, years of schooling, drinking water, sanitation, housing, bank accounts, among others.

While urban MPI in UP, the country’s most populous state, is 18.07 per cent, that in its rural areas is more than double, at 44.32 per cent. The state fares the poorest on the cooking fuel indicator, with 68.9 per cent population deprived of it, followed by housing at 67.5 per cent, and sanitation at 63.7 per cent. Lowest deprivation is on the bank account front, with just 4.9 per cent not owning one, followed by child and adolescent mortality at 5 per cent, and drinking water at 5.4 per cent.

Goa is the best among poll-bound states in MPI, with hardly any difference between rural rate (4.44 per cent) and urban (3.34 per cent) areas. Its worst performance is in the nutrition category, at 24.6 per cent deprived, followed by sanitation at 21.4 per cent and housing at 16.2 per cent. Less than 1 per cent of the state’s population is deprived in indicators such as school attendance (1%), child and adolescent mortality (0.6%) and electricity (0.2%).

Punjab is second-best ratio among the states set to go for elections. The highest deprivation is in the cooking fuel indicator at 36.4 per cent, followed by nutrition at 22.1 per cent and housing at 19.3 per cent. The lowest deprivation is in electricity, at 0.4 per cent.

Among the key metrics, 48.8% of Gujarat’s population faced deprivation in the cooking fuel indicator, followed by 41.4 per cent in nutrition, 37.2 per cent in sanitation and 24.2 per cent in housing. Overall poverty in rural areas (27.4%) is nearly four times urban (6.59%).

Himachal too has a wide divergence between rural poverty, 8.24 per cent, and urban, 1.46 per cent. Nearly 67.9 per cent of the population is deprived in cooking fuel category, following by 29.3 per cent in housing and 27.8 per cent in sanitation. On electricity and school attendance, less than 1 per cent of the population is deprived.

Manipur’s rural MPI is more than double (22.95) that of urban (9.9). The state faces the highest deprivation on housing, at 81.5 per cent, followed by drinking water at 60.9 per cent, cooking fuel at 58.9 per cent and sanitation at 47.7 per cent.

Uttarakhand faces highest deprivation on the cooking fuel indicator at 52.1 per cent, followed by housing at 35.6 per cent and sanitation at 34.1 per cent.

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