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Multidimensional poverty Index

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Issues Relating to Poverty and Hunger


Source: TH

 Context: According to the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2023, a total of 415 million people moved out of poverty in India within just 15 years from 2005/2006 to 2019/2021.


What is the global MPI?

  • It is a key international resource that measures (annually) acute multidimensional poverty across more than 100 developing countries.
  • First launched in 2010 by UNDP and Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), the global MPI advances SDG 1 – ending poverty in all its forms everywhere.
  • It also measures interconnected deprivations across indicators related to SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 11.


How does it measure multidimensional poverty?

  • By constructing a deprivation profile for each household and person across 10 indicators spanning health, education and standard of living.
  • A person is multidimensionally poor if s/he is deprived in one-third/33% or more of the weighted indicators out of the 10 indicators.
  • Those who are deprived of one-half or more of the weighted indicators are considered living in extreme multidimensional poverty.


Significance of the global MPI: It monitors poverty reduction and informs policy, showing how people experience poverty in different aspects of their daily lives.


The 2023 global MPI:

  • Prevalence:

  • Distribution:

  • Reduction:

Good news: 25 countries, including India, successfully halved their global MPI values within 15 years.



  • Child poverty will continue to be a pressing issue, particularly in relation to school attendance and undernutrition. The poverty rate among children is 27.7%, while among adults is 13.4%.
  • Poverty predominantly affects rural areas, with 84% of all poor people living in rural areas.
  • The lack of comprehensive data during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges in assessing immediate prospects.
  • The negative impacts of the pandemic in dimensions such as education are significant and can have long-lasting consequences.


Case of India:

  • In 2005/2006, about 645 million people were in multidimensional poverty in India, with this number declining to about 370 million in 2015/2016 and 230 million in 2019/2021.
    • Thus, 415 million poor people moved out of poverty from 2005/2006 to 2019/2021.
  • Incidence fell from 55.1 to 16.4%.
  • Deprivation in all indicators declined.
  • The poorest states and groups, including children and people in disadvantaged caste groups, had the fastest absolute progress.
  • The above findings are significant as India surpassed China (in Apr 2023) to become the world’s most populous nation with 142 crore people.


Way ahead:

  • Intensify efforts to comprehend the dimensions most negatively affected.
  • Strengthen data collection and policy efforts to get poverty reduction back on track.
  • Broaden the picture to include the impacts of the pandemic on children.


Conclusion: The report demonstrates that poverty reduction is achievable, demonstrating the feasibility of the SDG target – ending poverty in all its forms everywhere by 2030.


Insta Links:

Multidimensional poverty


Mains Links:

Though there have been several different estimates of poverty in India, all indicate a reduction in poverty levels over time. Do you agree? Critically examine with reference to urban and rural poverty indicators. (UPSC 2015)