State has lowest poverty rate in country: NITI 

Kerala’s improved ranking can be attributed to its better performance across various parameters used to calculate the UN Multidimensional Poverty Index score.
Image used for representational purpose.
Image used for representational purpose.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has the lowest poverty rate in the country and has made significant progress in reducing the percentage of the multidimensionally poor population, according to the “National Multidimensional Poverty Index - A Progress Review 2023” released by NITI Aayog on Monday.

The report, which used the latest household microdata from the all-India National Family Health Survey (NFHS), revealed that the percentage of poor in Kerala decreased from 0.70 per cent of the total population in 2015-16 to 0.55 per cent in 2019-21. During this period, 53,239 people were lifted out of multidimensional poverty.

The study used the United Nations Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), based on 12 indicators such as malnutrition, education, and sanitation. If people  are deprived in three or more areas, they are identified as “MPI poor.”

Kerala’s improved ranking can be attributed to its better performance across various parameters used to calculate the MPI score. For instance, the percentage contribution of nutrition increased from 34.12 per cent in 2015-16 to 36.61 per cent in 2019-21.

Among the districts in Kerala, Wayanad had the highest percentage of poor population at 2.82 per cent, while Ernakulam had the lowest at 0.00 per cent.  Kasaragod followed with a 1.70 per cent poor population, followed by Palakkad with 1.34 per cent, and Idukki with 1.11 per cent. Other districts in the state had a  multidimensional poverty rate below 1 per cent. 

S. Irudaya Rajan, Chair of the International Institute for Migration and Development, acknowledged that Kerala has successfully reduced the population of the poor despite facing challenges such as floods and the pandemic.  “Part of the credit for Kerala’s declining poverty level goes to the continuous increase in migration and remittances,” he added.    

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