In 4 years, 78.2 cr Indians will live on less than Rs 100 a day

World Bank-International Monetary Fund join report makes startling forecast

Lalit K Jha / PTI | April 23, 2010


Will this family in Naglamubarik village of Uttar Pradesh survive 2015?
Will this family in Naglamubarik village of Uttar Pradesh survive 2015?

A whopping 782 million Indians will be living on less than two dollars a day by 2015, a joint report by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund said here today.

The report titled 'Global monitoring report 2010: The MDGs after the crisis', however said the number of poor Indians living on less than two dollars would moderately decline to 686 million by 2020. But the report adds that by the turn of the next decade as many as 268 million Indians would be living on less than 1.25 dollars a day, while in 2015 the figure would be 295 million.

These figures, however, are almost double the revised number of the poor in the country which is pegged at around 400 million.

The report says China reduced its poverty rate from 60 per cent to 16 per cent, as the absolute number of extremely poor fell from 683 million to 208 million between 1990 and 2005.

On the other hand, "India reduced the share of its population living in poverty from 51 per cent to 42 per cent, but because of population growth, the number of poor people actually rose from 436 million to 456 million (between 1990 and 2005)," it said.

With the pre-crisis surge of growth in the Sub-Saharan Africa nations, the proportion of Africans living on less than 1.25 dollars a day fell from 58 per cent in 1990 to 51 per cent in 2005, but the absolute number of the poor rose from 296 million to 388 million. Despite Africa's recent progress, the pace of economic growth is still not fast enough there to cut the 1990 poverty rate by half in 2015, it said.

The new analysis of maternal deaths in 181 countries found a significant decline globally, with the aggregate maternal deaths decreasing by over 35 per cent from about 526,300 in 1980 to 342,900 in 2008.

More than half of all maternal deaths are concentrated in six countries-- India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Congo.

"All told, maternal deaths for every 1,00,000 live births decreased markedly from 422 in 1980 to 320 in 1990 and to 251 in 2008. The yearly rate of the decline in the global maternal mortality ratio since 1990 was 1.3 per cent (with an uncertainty range of 1.0-1.5)," it said.

With regard to poverty reduction, the report said, "the two large countries, China and India, are exceptions in the sense that, despite their starting points in income and poverty rates, poverty reduction has been rapid not just because of the high growth rates but also because the poverty gap and the average income distance from the poverty line have been relatively low.

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