Poverty and inequality

Poverty and inequality

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According to the Press Note on Poverty Estimates, 2009-10, Planning Commission, March 2012,

•    The all-India head count ratio (HCR) has declined by 7.3 percentage points from 37.2% in 2004-05 to 29.8% in 2009-10, with rural poverty declining by 8.0 percentage points from 41.8% to 33.8% and urban poverty declining by 4.8 percentage points from 25.7% to 20.9%. 

•    Poverty ratio in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttarakhand has declined by about 10 percentage points and more. 

•    In Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland, poverty in 2009-10 has increased. 

•    Some of the bigger states such as Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh have shown only marginal decline in poverty ratio, particularly in rural areas.

Poverty ratio for Social Groups

•    In rural areas, Scheduled Tribes exhibit the highest level of poverty (47.4%), followed by Scheduled Castes (SCs), (42.3%), and Other Backward Castes (OBC), (31.9%), against 33.8% for all classes. 

•    In urban areas, SCs have HCR of 34.1% followed by STs (30.4%) and OBC (24.3%) against 20.9% for all classes. 

•    In rural Bihar and Chhattisgarh, nearly two-third of SCs and STs are poor, whereas in states such as Manipur, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh the poverty ratio for these groups is more than half.

For occupational categories

•    Nearly 50% of agricultural labourers and 40% of other labourers are below the poverty line in rural areas, whereas in urban areas, the poverty ratio for casual labourers is 47.1%.

•    As expected, those in regular wage/ salaried employment have the lowest proportion of poor. In the agriculturally prosperous state of Haryana, 55.9% agricultural labourers are poor, whereas in Punjab it is 35.6%.

•    The HCR of casual laborers in urban  areas is very high in Bihar (86%), Assam (89%), Orissa (58.8%), Punjab (56.3%), Uttar Pradesh (67.6%) and West Bengal (53.7%).

* The head count ratio (HCR) is obtained using urban and rural poverty lines, which are applied on the Monthly per capita Expenditure (MPCE) distribution of the states.


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