Poverty, Inequality and Relative Deprivation Among Northeastern States of India: Evidence from NSS

Part of the India Studies in Business and Economics book series (ISBE)


One of the foremost objectives of post-independence Indian planning has been to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, thus improving the lives of those battered by deprivation and suffering. With some of the initiatives by government, presently Indian economy is experiencing higher growth since last two decades of new economic policy regime. So it is an appropriate time to review and examine the precise impact of reform process on poverty, inequality and deprivation. The objective of this present study is to examine poverty, inequality and relative deprivation among northeastern states of India during 2004–05 (61st Round) and 2011–12 (68th Round) of NSSO’s Consumer Expenditure Survey Rounds data. This chapter used headcount ratio to measure poverty, relative deprivation index to understand the level of deprivation among the northeastern states of India. In addition, we have used Gini Coefficient for inequality prevalence. Our analysis depicts that the headcount poverty ratio of Tripura has highest in rural northeastern states, which has worse than national averages in 2004–05. Results also divulge that states like Sikkim, Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya have less than 10% poverty level in 2011–12 in urban area. The highest reduction in poverty has shown in rural Tripura during 2004–05 to 2011–12. The urban poverty is lower for all the states than rural area. Further results of relative deprivation show that, only Tripura is relative deprived state in rural whereas Sikkim and Manipur in Urban during 2004–05. The number of relative disadvantages states has increased in 2011–12 for both rural and urban. The highest relative disadvantages are in Arunachal Pradesh for rural, and in Manipur for the urban area during 2011–12. The highest relatively advantages are Nagaland in 2004–05 and Sikkim 2011–12 for both place in rural and urban among all the northeastern states. Relative disadvantages have increased or relative advantages have decreased during 2011–12 from 2004–05 in all northeastern states except for Tripura and Sikkim in rural. Inequality is lower in rural area as compare to urban area both periods except Sikkim in 2004–05 and Arunachal Pradesh both periods. Within rural area, the inequality has increased in 2011–12 for Sikkim and Nagaland whereas urban area two more states joined in this category, i.e. Tripura and Meghalaya. Oaxaca Blinder results show that sector, state and education play key role in differences of mean expenditure of poor and non-poor for endowment as well as return to endowment impact.


Poverty Inequality Decomposition Relative deprivation Northeast India 

JEL Classification

D63 I30 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EconomicsUniversity of HyderabadHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Study of Regional Development (CSRD)Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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