Although the poverty rate in the country dropped by over three times since 2004-05, the new poverty line in urban areas in 2011-12 comes out to a mere Rs 33.33 per day. For rural areas, the poverty line is at Rs 27.20 per day.
The Planning Commission, which released data on poverty estimates on Tuesday, chose to use a family of five for calculating the all-India poverty line in terms of consumption expenditure. This works out to Rs 4,080 per month in rural areas and Rs 5,000 per month in urban areas. “For 2011-12, for rural areas the national poverty line using the Tendulkar methodology is estimated at Rs 816 per capita per month and Rs 1,000 per capita per month in urban areas,” said the report on poverty estimates.
In effect, this means that an individual subsisting over this level would not be counted as poor or living “below poverty line” though this marks a marginal improvement than the earlier poverty line of Rs 22.42 a day in rural areas and Rs 28.35 a day in urban areas.
However, wide variations persist across states on the latest poverty estimates. The poverty ratio was highest in Chhattisgarh at 39.93 per cent followed by Jharkhand (36.96 per cent), Manipur (36.89 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (34.67 per cent) and Bihar (33.47 per cent).
Goa had the least percentage of people living below poverty line at 5.09 per cent followed by Kerala (7.05 per cent), Himachal Pradesh (8.06 per cent), Sikkim (8.19 per cent) and Punjab (8.26 per cent).
The poverty line for rural Orissa is much below the national average at Rs 695 per capita per month or Rs 23.1 per person per day. Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh’s poverty line for urban areas was the lowest at Rs 849 per person per month or Rs 28.3 per day.
Meanwhile, Puducherry’s poverty line was the highest above the national average at Rs 1,301 per person per month in rural areas and Rs 1,309 per person per month in urban areas. Similarly, Goa, Delhi, Punjab and Haryana too have poverty lines well above the national average.
While Kerala’s poverty line for rural areas is above the national average at Rs 1,018 per person per month, for urban areas it is lower than the national average at Rs 987.