ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Understanding Deprivation and Well-being of Households with Children

The composite multiple deprivation index of households with and without children is estimated based on the India Human Development Survey data for 2011–12. The study uses both household- and individual-level dimensions such as shelter, sanitation, water, education, food, health and information. The bivariate logit model is used to find out the factors responsible for the deprivation of the households with children. 

(Appendix Table 1 accompanying this article is available on the EPW website).
The authors thank Ashok Pankaj for his valuable comments and thoughtful suggestions. The authors also thank the anonymous referee for their valuable feedback, which helped in improving the article.


A World Bank report on the “State of the Poor” estimated that the regional share of the poor in India to the world poor increased from 22% in 1981 to 33% in 2010 (Olinto et al 2013). As per the National Sample Survey (NSS) 2011–12, more than 269.3 million Indians or 22% of the country’s population are living below the poverty line (BPL). According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD 2011) report on inequality in emerging economies, income inequality has doubled in India since the early 1990s. The Gini coefficient of consumption expenditure in rural areas rose from 0.26 in 2004–05 to 0.28 in 2011–12 and in urban areas it was at an all-time high of 0.37, rising from 0.35 for the same period (Jha 2013). Inequality measures look distressing; with the disparity between rural and urban income widening as per the World Bank (2012) data. As per the NSS, 2011–12, more than a quarter of the total Indian rural households are poor and about 83% are in the poorest quintile, which is twice as many as in the highest one. Moreover, large disparities remain among different social categories, thus pointing to challenges in access to opportunities, inclusive service delivery, etc. About 70% of all households in India raise children. With such a large share of households with children, add­r­essing poverty and its disparities in comparison to households without children remains critical.

The remainder of this article explains the status and reasons for multiple deprivations of households with and without children. The status of households’ deprivation in six dimensions is explained, and the multiple deprivations of households in terms of composite deprivation are listed. The gap in poverty, disparity among the two sets of households, and also the different policies that are responsible for deprivation are explained. In this section, we have analys­ed different pillars of well-being in the context of individual deprivation (nutrition, health, education) and house­hold deprivation (shelter, information, water and sanitation) as well as overall deprivation, using the India Human Development Survey (ihds), 2011–12.1 A total of 42,556 households were covered in the survey.

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Updated On : 13th May, 2019
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