There are 1.6 billion people living in multidimensional poverty across the world and nearly 440 million of them are in eight large Indian states, according to a new analysis using a unique index developed atthe University of Oxford. In 2010, the Oxford analysis had concluded that there were poorer in India than in sub-Saharan Africa. Its 2014 analysis said the largest number of people classified as ‘destitute’ among developing countries was in India.
The eight Indian states that have similar number of poor as in 25 African countries are Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and West Bengal. The poorest region in south Asia is Bihar, the analysis states.
Sabina Alkire, director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative explained “Our measure of destitution, which identifies a subset of poor people as destitute if they experience a number of extreme deprivations like severe malnutrition, losing two children, having all primary-aged school children out of school, and using open defecation,” she said. The destitution results for South Asia “are significant”, Alkire said. Afghanistan has the highest rate of destitution of 38%, followed by India at a “troubling” 28.5% (over 340 million people).