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Poverty and its causes in India

Published on: June 9, 2013 | Updated on: February 2, 2019

Poverty in IndiaAt present, 28.5% of the Indian population lives below the poverty line. In the category of poor falls the people whose daily income is less than 33 rupees a day in cities and 27 rupees a day in villages. But do you think this amount is enough to survive even for a day in the country where every food item is available at sky-high prices? This means, the actual number of people living below the poverty line is much higher, as according to the statistical data, anyone earning 40 rupees won’t be considered as poor but must be facing the same difficulties in life.

Household expenditure is considered to calculate the poverty count in India. In this purchasing power of people for buying food and buying capacity for some non-food items is calculated. Though the condition in cities is more or less the same but the rural welfare programs have really helped the people in rural India. These efforts resulted in decrease in the poverty in rural India at faster pace than their urban counterparts.

But in spite of all the attempts, overall number of poor in India is increasing and becoming a hurdle. Poverty is just like a disease to which many other problems such as crime, low-paced development, etc are associated. There are number of people in India who still live on the streets and beg for the whole day to eat a meal. Underprivileged children are unable to attend school and, and those have the opportunity drop out after a year or so. People below poverty line live in unhygienic conditions and are so prone to many health problems. With this, the vicious cycle of poor health, lack of education and more poverty keeps on increasing.

Facts on Poverty in India

Who comes in the category of the poorest class in India? – Tribal people, Dalits and labour class including farm workers in villages and casual workers in cities are still very poor and make the poorest class in India.

Where do the majority of poor live in India? – 60% of the poor still reside in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The reason for these states to be in the category of the poorest state is because 85% of tribal people live there. Also, most of these regions are either flood-prone or suffer from calamities. These conditions hamper agriculture to a great extent, on which the household income of these people depends.

According to the recent Global Hunger Index Report 2012 by the International Food Research Institute, India ranks 97th in Global Hunger Index. Though there is no shortage of food production in India, our nation still has the highest percentage of underweight children under five. India is working hard to become a superpower in 2020, but what about these poor in India as our nation still lags behind in improving GHI.

India at present has a greater share  of the poor around the world. Thirty years ago, India was home to one-fifth of world’s poor but now it is a home to one-third of poor people. This means we now have more poor in India as compared to thirty years ago.

International poverty line stands at $ 1.25 per day and in 2010, 32.7% of the total population in India was below this line.

According to a 2011 poverty Development Goals Report, poverty in India is expected to drop by 22% in 2015.

Causes of Poverty in India

High population growth rate is one of major reasons of poverty in India. This further leads to high level of illiteracy, poor health care facilities and lack of access to financial resources. Also, high population growth affects the per capita income and makes per capita income even lower. It is expected that population in India will reach 1.5 billion by 2026 and then India will be the largest nation in the world. But India’s economy is not growing at the same pace. This means shortage of jobs. For this much population, near about 20 million new jobs would be required. Number of poor will keep on increasing if such a big number of jobs won’t be created.

Ever increasing prices of even basic commodities is another reason of poverty. A person below the poverty line finds it difficult to survive. Caste system and unequal distribution of income and resources is another reason of poverty in India.

Apart from all these, unskilled workers are paid very low in spite of hard work they put daily. The problem lies with the unorganized sector as owners do not bother the way their workers live and the amount they earn. Their area of concern is just cost-cutting and more profit. Because of the number of workers looking for a job is higher than the jobs available, unskilled workers have no other option but to work for less money. The government should really find a way to impose minimum wage standards for these workers. At the same time, the government should ensure that this is implemented well.

Poverty must be eradicated from India as every person has the right to live a healthy life.

Related Information:

India and Global Hunger Index
Begging in India
Can Modi Change India?
Why India is still a poor country?
Overpopulation in India – Causes, Effects and How to Control it?
Causes of rural poverty and Anti poverty schemes in India
Why a poor person cannot wear quality clothes?
Family planning in India
Overpopulation in India
Human Trafficking in India
Child Trafficking
Child labour in India
Why India is a poor Country ?


I am a mother. A wife. And daughter of my loving parents by heart with passion for creativity, zeal to achieve something big in life but want to live life to its fullest.


Showing 30 Comments :

India needs to work very hard to eradicate poverty from the country by India I mean its us who should work for the country. On papers one can argue that India is one of the fastest developing economies but in real we are home to the most no of people living below the poverty line. Some can not afford a meal per day. WE can not be a global power unless we remove poverty illiteracy caste system and most importantly the will to do something great for the country. We need to control our population and for that we need to create awareness among the socially backward people


Poverty in India will be completely vanish our country.so before that we have to vanish the poverty through our kind hands.


“But in spite of all the efforts, overall number of poor in India is increasing and becoming a hurdle.” – Laws of nature cannot be violated. Win-lose is a law of nature. You cannot become rich without making me poor. Stealing wealth from others is the only way to become rich. In every win-win case, if you research carefully, you will always find a third party who will be loser. Capitalism is like a bar magnet. The strength of north pole (richness) is same as the strength of south pole (poverty). More you become rich more people will become poor. Poverty will keep on increasing. Take a look at 30-year graphs of economic data for USA at the poverty and central bank chapter in theoryofsouls.wordpress.com

“Their area of concern is just cost-cutting and more profit.” – Objects of nature are the only truth. Money is not an object of nature, therefore money is false. Since money is false, money must be free and abundant at its source, which is the central bank. How can you make anything true using something false like money? You cannot. Money can be secretly manipulated to create transfer of wealth from people to top 1% of the rich. If you take any economic activity, and analyze it carefully, you will find it false, because money is false. Every activity is designed to steal wealth. Profiting, for example, is nothing but cheating and stealing.

“The government should really find a way to impose minimum wage standards for these workers.” – There is no government anywhere in the world. Government is controlled by money and money power. Government does not obey people; it has to obey the central bank via their lobbyists. It is so in the western world and it must be so in India also. Central bank (at least money supply part) is a private bank, it supplies money to governments. Government does not have any control over central bank.


It helped me for my project…


Its helpful for me


India iz grate countrey in thiz world and poverty iz so below yaAr


Anybody not help poor.and work only in paper. Poverty effect this is Indian political culture. Indian politician not help poor as like rahul ghandi and Sonia because they are not come local society. Only mock of poverty. India is not poor there are many efforts of work . we have decide help for poor give him a job and help in success in life. Jay hind jay bos.




Thanks for giving me marks


What happen to the Indians? no one is seeing this to help the poor


To stop poverty the salary and allowances of all the politicians may decrease and it will give to poverty things. At least their 1/3 part will change the great poverty


poverty and population growth have had been remaining a challange for indian economy. But as long as positive attitude and mentality among the people has not been developed the problem will remain as such.And inequality should be minimised.


china has also a huge population but they r not under poverty like us because their government is devotee for county and their peoples are supportive for their government, and love their country and duties.


Why is INDIA a poor country ?

Binod kumar oraon May 18, 2015 at 12:31 pm

what is the reason provety in india



Ankush Bambal April 4, 2015 at 9:53 am

After a six decades of independent,it’s really bad for India to suffering from poverty.but I got the reason politicians…..
Except patriotic.


one important reason for poverty is the existence of large inequalities in wealth, such as land in villages and assets like shares, property etc in urban areas.
The distribution of these assets being unequal, the income that flow from these are also very unequal.


It is so sad to see that our country still suffers from poverty…… This information helped me for my FA 4 Project.


its True that About 1/3rd Populaion In India Are Still Poor.
As Such We Are Devlop In Many Sectors But Still India Was Underdeveloping In Rural Area And Regarding This Our Government Must Have To improve the communication And Transportation In Remote area For Development In Village Area
As Well As They Must Have to Establish Industries In Rural area By Which People of Rural Area Should Get Job To Working ….


Poverty occupies the central key of the society. Near about 35%of the world poverty in India.How we can face? and which plan and procedure to overcome the real causes for removal. Everybody’s share and responsible to eradicate the social issue.


Thanks for the appreciation Subrata.

subrata bhattacharyya December 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm

quite meticulously.I try to peruse the write-ups by Ramandeep Kaur and carefully scrutinise the comments on them made by some leaned readers.Thus,in the process I learn a lot,for which i would like to thank you ALL.My special thanks are to the author; I would appreciate receiving an e-mail reply from the author and all other discussants.Regards and best wishes to ALL of you,…….Subrata,December01,2014

pravat kumar jena November 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm

govt donot seriously step for poverty line poulation in india


Poverty occupies the central key of the society. Near about 35%of the world poverty in India.How we can face? and which plan and procedure to overcome the real causes for removal. Everybody’s share and responsible to eradicate the social issue. N.K.PANDU-NBDP INDIA


india celebrate its 68th independence day .but all indian citizens enjoy the meaning of this indipendence?at present29.8% of the indian populations lives below the poverty line .what is the cause?for formality we can say illiteracy,high population or under development.but its not the actual cause ,in our sociaty its a fact that in our
areas a poor family their children follows the system of their parents never goes for education.for a good and developed india we need to conduct awarness programmes in such
rural areas.so we need to spend money for it .in our defence fields we spent more money for bada khana and spent more money for the arrangement of programmes for some special officers in this sectors officers are considered like gods and spent money for their facilities , our goverment needs to spent this type of money for the purpose of such awarness programmes .


Thankyou! I needed this information to do my holiday homework.


There are three more important points that needs attention:

(1) The current capital intensive economic model of the West where shareholders are put in the center needs replacing with employment intensive economy where people are at the center. It is silly to claim that Indian economy (measured in terms of outdated GDP numbers) grew impressively ignoring the fact that it did practically nothing for the poor, except may be providing them with mobile phones. They need employment and food security security.

(2) Promote the micro, small and medium segment of economy: It is this segment that generates the most number of jobs for the unskilled and semiskilled people, not the big corporate houses or the MNCs whose handful jobs (from Indian standard of population) remain limited to those already capable, educated and informed. We need millions of small units across rural India, not a few hundred (or thousand) corporate entities confined within metros and urban areas.

(3) Ban import of all goods manufactured through high automation and mass production, which can be easily manufactured by our micro and small enterprises. Flooding market with cheap Chinese goods (both in terms of quality and price) does not help India fight poverty in any way.



    Hi Vijay,

    That’s great information you put there, could you please help me with more information or direct me to the right way?

    Loved the way you put everything up in words, wish I could deliver that way.

    Looking forward to hear from you soon.

    Vishal Mukherjee

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