Human Poverty Index (HPI), Multi Dimensional Indian poverty index.

Human Poverty Index (HPI)

The Human Poverty Index (HPI) was first introduced into the Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1997 in an attempt to bring together in a composite index the different features of deprivation in the quality of life to arrive at an aggregate judgement on the extent of poverty in a community.

There are two indices; the HPI – 1, which measures poverty in developing countries, and the HPI-2, which measures poverty in OCED developed economies.

Calculation of HPI-1 for Developing countries:-The following three dimensions are taken into account:

  • deprivation of longevity, measured as a percentage of the individuals with a life expectancy lower than 40 years (P1).
  • deprivation of knowledge, expressed as a percentage of illiterate adults (P2).
  • deprivation of decent living standards (P3). This last indicator is made up by the simple average of three basic variables:
    • the percentage of the population without access to drinking water (P31),
    • the percentage of population without access to health services (P32) and lastly,
    • the percentage of underweight children aged less than five (P33).

The indicator P3, referred to the living standard, is then obtained as an average of the three indicators, in this way:

[(P31 + P32 + P33) / 3

The global index HPI-1 is obtained by combining these three dimensions into one single measure giving a greater weight to the most disadvantaged situation.

The formula is:

HPI-1 = [(P13 + P23 + P33 ) / 3]1/3

While HPI-2 is calculated as follows:-


Multi Dimensional Indian poverty index

Poverty is a multi-dimensional issue and various experts/committees and institutions estimate poverty based on different perceptions/definitions. However, Planning Commission is the nodal agency in the Government of India to estimate poverty in the country. TheMultidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) was developed in 2010 by the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme. and uses different factors to determine poverty beyond income-based lists. It replaced the previous Human Poverty Index.

Various dimentions of MPI are:-

Dimension Indicators
  • Child Mortality
  • Nutrition
  • Years of schooling
  • School attendance
Living Standards
  • Cooking fuel
  • Toilet
  • Water
  • Electricity
  • Floor
  • Assets

Life expectancy at birth: Number of years a newborn infant could expect to live if prevailing patterns of age-specific mortality rates at the time of birth stay the same throughout the infant’s life.
Expected years of schooling: Number of years of schooling that a child of school entrance age can expect to receive if prevailing patterns of age-specific enrolment rates persist throughout the child’s life.
Mean years of schooling: Average number of years of education received by people ages 25 and older, converted from education attainment levels using official durations of each level.
Gross national income (GNI) per capita: Aggregate income of an economy generated by its production and its ownership of factors of production, less the incomes paid for the use of factors of production owned by the rest of the world, converted to international dollars using PPP rates, divided by midyear population.

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