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

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Statewise Estimates of Poverty among Religious Groups in India

This study finds on the basis of NSS data that there are striking variations in the level of poverty among different religious groups, both within and across states in India. The paper shows that religious diversity in India also has an economic dimension. A comparison of the average consumption level of religious groups for all India shows that the average monthly per capita expenditure of Muslims is the lowest in both rural and urban India. The average MPCE of Sikhs and Christians is the highest in rural and urban India, respectively. The prevalence, depth and severity of poverty are found to be the highest among the 'Others' in rural India and among Muslims in urban India. The immediate challenges are to formulate and implement 'inclusive' policies and it is hoped that the estimates of poverty computed in this paper will contribute to providing an empirical basis for the debates on the subject. We also hope that this paper will stimulate research towards state specific studies seeking to explain factors underlying poverty among different religious groups.

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