National Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021 Baseline Report released by Niti Aayog

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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