Indian Youth Poverty: A District Level Analysis

Kaustav Misra, Rimu Chaudhuri


India made significant progress on reducing poverty between 1981 and 2001. The number of poor population living on less than US$1 a day has declined, but it needs considerable attention for antipoverty policy formulation. Estimating the Gini Coefficients for various age groups in four most populated states Uttarpradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and West Bengal in India by district level reveals that youth population are at risk. Youth poverty among these states deserves special attention for several reasons. First, economicallydeprived youth are not only a high risk for poverty themselves but also for the whole society. Second, once youth enter into poverty, it is hard for them to come out from this insufficiency of basic needs. Youth who are growing up in poor families are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors like early pregnancy, college absenteeism, and early entrance in the job market. Following Tokel and Huffman model, for any geographic area, labor and wage depend on the existing stock of human capital, local labor market conditions, macroeconomic conditions, local amenities, the age and caste of distribution of the population and various socioeconomic variables. We apply the multinomial logit model and proportional functional form for different socioeconomic & demographical characteristics to evaluate youth poverty in these four states in India. The paper determines the factors affecting youth poverty, employing district level data Analysis of the results conclude that rural youth population need more attention than urban youth population, agricultural industry need better infrastructure, educational program is essential to eradicate youth poverty from these states in India. Appropriate suggestions by the policymakers will limit the youth poverty in these four states. This paper is actually a baseline study for the initiation of a research for youth poverty in India, on the basis of which we can further proceed that whether policies implemented after this census were proper or not and what is the reflection of those policies in the next census.

Key words: young adult, poverty, India

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