India has highest number of people living below poverty line: World Bank

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India accounted for the largest number of people living below international poverty line in 2013, with 30 per cent of its population under the USD 1.90-a- day poverty measure, the World Bank said on Monday in a new report.

World Bank
Photo courtesy: indian express

India accounts for one in three of the poor population worldwide, the world body said in its inaugural edition of the report Poverty and Shared Prosperity, according to which extreme poverty worldwide continued to fall despite the global economys “under-performance”.

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“India is by far the country with the largest number of people living under the international USD 1.90-a-day poverty line, more than 2.5 times as many as the 86 million in Nigeria, which has the second-largest population of the poor worldwide,” the report said.

India had 30 per cent of its population living below poverty line at 224 million, it said.

Nearly 800 million people lived on less than USD 1.90 a day in 2013, around 100 million fewer poor people than in 2012, it added.

Progress on extreme poverty was driven mainly by East Asia and Pacific, especially China and Indonesia, and by India.

Half of the worlds extreme poor now live in Sub-Saharan Africa, and another third live in South Asia. Sub-Saharan Africa has one in two of the poor population worldwide, while India accounts for one in three, the report said.

The World Bank said for this report, as with many other countries, the total poor population in India is based on estimates rather than actual numbers provided through a household survey collected in 2013.

Such estimates are subject to a great deal of uncertainty, which typically arises because of revisions of national accounts in each country, it noted.

The Bank said the average population-weighted shared prosperity premium is positive in all regions, save South Asia, where India’s large population and negative premium heavily influences the negative regional average.

According to the report, whereas the annual mean income among the bottom 40 in the US is USD 8,861 per person (in 2011 PPP), the bottom 40 earn USD 1,819 in Brazil and USD 664 in India, about 13 times less than in the US.

“Only the top 10 in India earn sufficient average incomes to be part of the bottom 40 in the US if that is where they had been located,” the report said.

Observing that access to electricity boosts household incomes, the report said in India, household electrification has been found to raise labour supply by about 16 days a year among men and 6 days a year among women.

(With inputs from PTI)

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