Essay on Extent of Poverty in India

(i) Estimates of Dandekar and Rath:

As per the estimates of Dandekar and Rath, as early as in 1960-61 roughly 40% of the rural population and 50% of the urban population were living below poverty line.

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(ii) Estimates of S.S. Minhas:

The study of Dr. Minhas revealed that about 65% of population in 1956-57 and 50.6% of population in 1967-68 in rural India were living below the poverty line.

(iii) Planning Commission’s Estimates:

On the basis of a large sample survey data on consumer expenditure, conducted by the NSSO [National Sample Survey Organization], the Planning Commission estimated poverty in the country at the national and state level.

These estimates made by the Commission at an interval of approximately five years, give us some picture about the extent of poverty in India until 1990- 2000. The following it throws some light on the extent of poverty in India.

As the table reveals that in 1999- 2000, 26.1% of the people, that is, 260.3 million people were living below the poverty line. As per the poverty projection made for the year 2007, the figures were likely to be at 19.3% and 220% million respectively.

Extent of Poverty in Different States:

The level of poverty is not the same in all the states. Poverty was found to be highest in Orissa [47.15%] in 1999-2000 and Bihar [46.2%] respectively. In U.P., highest number of poor people [5.29 crore, or 31.5%] were found.

The estimates reveal that in 1999-2000, about 193.2 million poor people were living in rural areas and 67.1 million, in urban areas. In Karnataka, about 104.40 lakh [20.04%] people were living below the poverty line.


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