Poverty Line

  • A common method used to measure poverty is based on income or consumption levels.

  • A person is considered poor if his or her income or consumption level falls below a given “minimum level” necessary to fulfill basic needs.

  • The poverty line may vary with time and place.

  • Each country uses an imaginary line that is considered appropriate for its existing level of development and its accepted minimum social norms.

  • While determining the poverty line in India, a minimum level of food requirement, clothing, footwear, fuel and light, educational and medical requirement, etc ., are determined for subsistence.

  • The present formula for food requirement while estimating the poverty line is based on the desired calorie requirement.

  • The calorie needs vary depending on age, sex, and the type of work that a person does.

  • The accepted average calorie requirement in India is 2400 calories per day in rural areas and 2100 calories per person per day in urban areas.

  • On the basis of these calculations, for the year 2011–12, the poverty line for a person was fixed at Rs 816 per month for rural areas and Rs 1000 for urban areas.

  • The poverty line is estimated periodically (normally every five years) by conducting sample surveys. These surveys are carried out by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO). 
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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.