Skip to main content

India's urban poverty doubles since 1950s, pace of urbanization lower than South Asian countries, China: Study

Counterview Desk
In a new study, apparently carried out from a World Bank perspective, three senior economists have said that in the early 1950s, just about 14 per cent of the poor lived in India’s urban areas; however, they note, “by 2012 this had risen to 35 per cent”, adding, “There is a sign of acceleration in the pace of the urbanization of poverty since 2000.”
Giving a slightly different figure in an article based on the study in an online portal, the economists say, “The urban population share has been rising steadily over time in India, from 17 per cent in 1950 to 31 per cent today”.
They simultaneously admit, “India’s pace of population urbanisation (proportionate increase in the urban population share) has been less than either South Asia as a whole or lower middle-income countries as a whole, and markedly slower than for, say, China.”
Titled “Growth, Urbanization and Poverty Reduction in India”, the study has been authored by Gaurav Datt (Associate Professor, Department of Economics and Deputy Director, Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability, Monash University), Martin Ravallion (Edmond D. Villani Chair of Economics, Georgetown University) and Rinku Murgai (Lead Economist, World Bank).
Ironical though it may seem, the economists – taking an approach similar to top World Bank policy makers – observe a “notable change”. They believe, urbanization process, albeit slow, was instrumental in reducing overall poverty (rural plus urban) in the country.
The study has been published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a think tank with offices in Massachusetts and New York, and is currently being disseminated online by World Bank, which said about it, through a tweet, “Urbanization played an important role in rural #poverty reduction in #India.”
Providing an analysis of the post-1991 period, the cut-off period when Manmohan Singh came up with the new economic policy, “opening up” the economy to market forces, the authors say, “While in the pre-91 period urban growth had no discernible impact on rural poverty, a significant and large impact emerged post-91.”
In their calculations, the economists say, in the post-91 period, “in proportionate terms, poverty incidence declined at the rate of 1.3% per annum.”
They believe, “Rural poverty measures, that were historically higher than for urban areas, have been converging with urban measures over time, and the (distribution-sensitive) squared poverty gap index for urban India has actually overtaken that for rural India in recent years.”
Thus, they say, what one sees is “a marked urbanization of poverty in India over this period, from about one-in-eight of the poor living in urban areas in the early 1950s to one-in-three today.”
Pointing out that poverty reduction was there because of “a significant spurt in economic growth, driven by growth in the tertiary sector and to a lesser extent, secondary sector”, the economists say, “The pace of poverty reduction also accelerated, with a 3-4 fold increase in the proportionate rate of decline in the post-91 period.”
“Thus”, they add, “Faster growth also appears to have been more pro-poor when the latter is measured by the growth elasticity of poverty reduction.”
“Seen through the lens of growth by output sectors, the contribution of primary sector growth has rapidly dwindled from accounting for about two-fifths of the total poverty decline pre-91 to less than 10 percent of the total (and larger) poverty decline post-91”, the economists say.
“The tertiary sector alone has contributed over 60% of the post-91 poverty reduction. The secondary sector growth has contributed about a quarter. India’s construction boom since 2000 has clearly helped assure a more pro-poor growth process from the secondary sector”, they add.
---
Download study HERE

Comments

TRENDING

US research: 40% of India's casteist Facebook posts are anti-reservation, anti-Dalit

By Rajiv Shah
A recent American civil society research has found that 40% of India's casteist posts on Facebook (FB) have anti-reservation slant. Asserting that the reservation policy in India is similar to affirmative action in the United States, the research study, titled "Facebook India: Towards The Tipping Point of Violence Caste and Religious Hate Speech", says, this type of hate content on FB is mainly directed against Dalits and Adivasis.

Sanjiv Bhatt paying price for deposing on Modi role in Gujarat riots: Wife Shweta

Counterview Desk
Following the Jamnagar sessions court ordering life imprisonment to former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for his alleged involvement in three decades old custodial death case, his wife Shweta Bhatt has said that he has been sentenced for a “for a crime he did not commit”, even as criticizing the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association, Gujarat, for not standing up for him.

Senior advocates targeted because they took up cases against Amit Shah: Lawyers' NGO

Counterview Desk
The Lawyers Collective (LC), an NGO claiming to promote human rights issues, has expressed surprise at the latest move by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR against the Lawyers Collective (LC), its president Anand Grover and unknown office bearers for alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

How Gujarat govt imposed curbs on livestock export for 'fear' of losing BJP vote share

By RK Misra*
Insidious are the ways authorities function, preaching one thing, practicing quite another. Administrative muscle-flexing to suit political goals was on display when the BJP-led Vijay Rupani government in Gujarat banned the export of livestock days ahead of Eid. Even the Narendra Modi-led government expressed its intent to confirm it countrywide, but stopped short of doing so.

One of the least peaceful countries, India's global peace ranking deteriorates: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report has asserted that India's ranking in the Global Peace Index (GPI) is 141st among 163 countries, deteriorating by four ranks in a year. Ranking 163 countries by providing a score to each, the report, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), headquartered in Sydney, Australia, has found India to be one of the least peaceful nations in the region.

Demand for Bharat Ratna to Dalai Lama as top RSS leader warns China of 'strong' action

Nava Thakuria*
Dharamshala: Indian supporters for a free Tibet have urged the Government of India to confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on the Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, for his “immense contributions” in creating goodwill for India in the last six decades. A declaration, adopted at the 6th All-India Tibet Support Groups’ Conference held on June 15 and 16 in Dharamshala township of Himachal Pradesh, said that the Nobel laureate continues to be a holy ambassador of Indian culture enriched with non-violence, compassion and religious harmony.

Sabarmati 'cleaned up' swimming pool style: Untreated effluents discharged in river

Counterview Desk
In a fresh letter to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, senior Gujarat environmentalists Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) have taken strong objection to the recent clean-up drive of the about 11.3 km stretch of Sabarmati riverbed undertaken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), terming it as “swimming pool type clean-up.” The river’s total length is 371 km.

Jharkhand mob lynching: Adivasis protest police 'inaction', FIR against victims

Counterview Desk
The Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM), a civil rights network, on Monday sponsored a protest against the police action against the Adivasi victims of the lynching which took on April 10, 2019, in Jurmu village of Dumri block in Gumla district of Jharkhand. The incident led the death of Prakash Lakda, aged 50.

Gujarat govt 'considers' temples, charitable institutions as shops and establishment

By Pankti Jog*
The Gujarat state assembly recently passed a new law which would "govern" the working condition of shops and establishments. One of the most talked about provisions of the Act is, it allow shops and establishments across Gujarat to function 24 hours.

There is no 'separate' Kashmir story, as there is for Afghanistan, Nepal, Tibet, Palestine

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of South Asia. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The name Kashmir derives from the Sanskrit Kashyapmeru. The Greeks knew it as Kaspeiria. Herodotus called it Kaspatyros.