Skip to content

Multidimensional Poverty Index- A Progress Review from India by NITI Aayog

Almost 50 years ago T.N Srinivasan and Pranab Bardhan’s landmark study ‘Poverty and Income Distribution in India’ mapping a detailed view of poverty and inequality trends (based on National surveys) in India was launched.

In 2023, there is unfortunately a lack of high-quality national household survey data from the last decade.

However, a crucial piece of research has been shared by NITI Aayog (India’s top think tank) that could aid our understanding extreme poverty drivers and patterns in the country. They have been reviewing the trends in the Multidimensional Poverty Index between 2015-2021 and have shared ‘A progress review‘ in partnership with Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative and UNDP. This is the second edition of this review, the first one was launched in 2021.

The Index focuses on Health, Education, and Standard of living – which are represented by 12 SDG indicators.

”The granular data presented in this report will not only allow policymakers, State Governments, and district officials to monitor progress, but also empower them to understand the extent, source, and complexity of deprivations among those that remain in multidimensional poverty. ” -UNDP India


Based on the National Family Heath Survey 5 (2019-21), this edition of the national MPI represents India’s progress in reducing multidimensional poverty between NFHS-4 (2015-16) and NFHS-5 (2019-21). The report notes that during this period, the share of India’s population who are multidimensionally poor has declined from 24.85% to 14.96%.

DEEP researchers have recognised the need for local-level research in all our focus countries, especially one as diverse as India. Consequently, our researchers at the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi have been working on a village-level study to understand the economic trajectories of villages and urban neighbourhoods. As the NITI Aayog report suggests, these local-level surveys and related studies could act as key policy tools for policymakers and government bodies on State and district level to ”ensure that public resources flow where they can have the greatest impact”.

Watch this space for our village-level study- launching soon!

Related Updates