Describe poverty trends in India since 1973.


Describe poverty trends in India since 1973.


A decline: There has been a substantial decline in the poverty ratios in India from about 55 per cent in 1973 to 36 per cent in 1993. The proportion of people below poverty line further came down to about 26 percent in 2000. Although the percentage of people living in poverty declined from 1973 to 1993, the number of poor remained stable around 320 million for a fairly long period. However, as per the latest estimates, the number of poor has shown a significant decline to about 260 million.

Rural and urban poor: The poverty trends also indicate that the problem of poverty is a much bigger menace in the rural areas than it is in the urban areas. As the greater part of the Indian population resides in the villages, the greater number of the poor also resides in the villages.

Vulnerable groups: Looked at from the point of view of the various social and economic groups in the country, the scheduled tribes, the scheduled castes, the rural agricultural labourers and the urban casual labourers turn out to be the groups most vulnerable to poverty. Though the average for people below poverty line for all groups in India is 26, the averages of these groups are higher than the average Indian poverty ratio.

Poor states: The poverty trends also show that though there has been a decline in poverty in every state from the early seventies, the success rate of reducing poverty has varied from state to state. In 20 states and union territories, the poverty ratio is less than the national average of 26. In others, the poverty ratios are higher than the national average. Among these, Orrisa and Bihar continue to be the two poorest states with poverty ratios of 47 and 43 per cent respectively. On the other hand, states like Kerala, Gujarat, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir have shown a significant decline in poverty.

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