wsws.org, August 2, 2010
According to a new Oxford University study, 55 percent of India’s population of 1.1 billion, or 645 million people, are living in poverty. Using a newly-developed index, the study found that about one-third of the world’s poor live in India.
The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) has been developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a more precise and comprehensive means of estimating poverty levels. It will replace the Human Poverty Index that has been used in the UNDP’s annual Human Development Report since 1997.
The MPI assesses a range of factors or “deprivations” at the household level as well as income and assets. These include: child mortality, nutrition, access to clean drinking water, sanitation, cooking fuel, electricity, and years of schooling and child enrolment. “A person is considered poor if they are deprived in at least 30 percent of the weighted indicators,” the study states.