One out of every two Bihar households is multi-dimensionally poor: NITI Aayog

The share of multi-dimensional poor in Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is also uncomfortably high, according to NITI Aayog

By Rajit Sengupta
Published: Friday 26 November 2021
Photo: istock

One out of every two Bihar households is multi-dimensionally poor (51.9 per cent), according to India’s first multi-dimensional poverty index released by NITI Aayog.

The share of multi-dimensional poor in Jharkhand (42.16 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (37.79 per cent) and Madhya Pradesh (36.6 per cent) is also uncomfortably high.

The Multidimensional Poverty Index has been used by the United Nations Development Programme in its flagship Human Development Report since 2010. It is the most widely employed non-monetary poverty index in the world.

It captures overlapping deprivations in health, education and living standards. The index released by NITI Aayog has calculated this on the basis of 12 indicators and is based on the findings of the fourth National Health Family Survey (2015-16).

Here are the key findings:


Some 37.6 per cent Indian households are deprived of healthy nutrition levels. A household is considered deprived if any child between the ages of 0 and 59 months, or woman between the ages of 15 and 49 years, or man between the ages of 15 and 54 years — for whom nutritional information is available — is found to be undernourished.

Some 2.7 per cent households have reported child and adolescent mortality. A household is deprived if any child or adolescent under 18 years of age has died in the household in the five-year period preceding the survey.

Some 22.6 per cent households have been deprived of maternal health. A household is deprived if any woman in the household who has given birth in the five years preceding the survey has not received at least four antenatal care visits for the most recent birth or has not received assistance from trained skilled medical personnel during the most recent childbirth.


At least 13.9 per cent households have a member aged 10 years or older who has not completed six years of schooling. At least 6.4 per cent households have a school-aged child not attending school up to the age at which he / she would complete class 8.

Standard of Living

At least 58.5 per cent households have dung, agricultural crops, shrubs, wood, charcoal or coal as their primary source of cooking fuel. At least 52 per cent households are with unimproved or no sanitation facility or are sharing their resources with other households.

At least 14.6 per cent households do not have access to improved drinking water or safe drinking water is more than a 30-minute walk from home (as a round trip).

Some 12.2 per cent households are without electricity. 

Some 45.6 per cent households have inadequate housing: The floor is made of natural materials, or the roof or walls are made of rudimentary materials.

Some 14 per cent households do not own more than one of these assets: Radio, TV, telephone, computer, animal cart, bicycle, motorbike, or refrigerator; and does not own a car or truck.

At least 9.7 per cent households are without a bank account or a post office account.

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