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Bihar is the poorest state, Araria is the poorest district – NITI Aayog report

Main Media resident sub-editor Nawazish Alam Reported By Nawazish Alam |
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According to a recent report by NITI Aayog, Bihar is the poorest state in the country, with 33.76% of the population still living in poverty.

As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), between 2015-16 and 2019-21, 18.3% of the people in the state were lifted out of poverty. In 2015-16, Bihar had 51.89% of its population living in poverty.

The report states that Araria is the poorest district in the state, followed by Purnia, which is the second-poorest district in the state.

The report, titled “National Multidimensional Poverty Index: A Progress Review 2023” by NITI Aayog, reveals that a record 13.5 crore people in the country have escaped multidimensional poverty between 2015-16 and 2019-21. According to the poverty index released by the Aayog, all seven districts of Purnia and Kosi divisions are among the seven worst-affected districts. After Araria and Purnia, Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Kishanganj, and Katihar are ranked in order.

According to this report, the percentage of the population living in multidimensional poverty in Araria is 52.07, and in Purnia, it is 50.70. These figures are based on the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-21. As per the NFHS 2015-16, the poverty index in Araria was 64.65, and in Purnia, it was 63.31.

According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019-21, Kishanganj has 45.55% and Katihar has 44.21% of its population under the multidimensional poverty index. As per NFHS 2015-16, the poverty index for Kishanganj and Katihar was 64.75 and 62.38, respectively.

The National Multidimensional Poverty Index measures deficiencies in three equally weighted dimensions: health, education, and standard of living, through 12 indicators related to SDGs. These include nutrition, child and adolescent mortality rate, maternal health, years of schooling, school attendance, clean fuel, sanitation, drinking water, electricity, housing, assets, and bank accounts.

According to the report, the percentage of multidimensional poor in India was 24.85% in 2015-16, which decreased to 14.96% in 2019-2021, showing a significant decline of 9.89% in the number of multidimensional poor. During this period, urban poverty decreased from 8.65% to 5.27%.

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In contrast, rural poverty decreased rapidly from 32.59% to 19.28%. Uttar Pradesh is a state from where 3.43 crore people escaped multidimensional poverty, the highest reduction in the number of poor in the country. The report, which provides estimates of multidimensional poverty for all 707 administrative districts of states and union territories, reveals that the fastest decline in the proportion of multidimensional poor occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan.

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Nawazish Alam hails from Purnia district in Bihar. He pursued Convergent Journalism at AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. His passions lie in the realms of politics, cricket, and history.

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