Discuss poverty estimates since 1973-74 for country as a whole and draw out salient trends for rural areas and urban areas.
Rural poor are the poor people residing in villages and small towns. The rural poor work mainly as landless agricultural labourers, cultivators with very small land holdings, landless labourers who are engaged in a variety of non-agricultural jobs and tenant cultivators with small land holdings.
On the’other hand, the urban poor are the poor people living in metros and big cities. They are largely the overflow of the rural poor who had migrated to urban areas in search of alternative employment and livelihood, labourers who do a variety of casual jobs and the self-employed who sell a variety of things on roadsides and are engaged in various activities. It can be seen from the given table, the trends in poverty ratio which has shifted from rural to urban areas.
Source Planning Commission Estimates (Uniform Reference Period).
It is evident from the above table that rural poverty has declined significantly from 56.4% in 1973-74 to 28.3% in 2004-05 whereas, decline in urban poverty (from 49% to 25.7%) is not that significant. Moreover, the gap between the rural and urban poverty ratios which was around 7% in 1973-74 fell to just around 2% in 2004-05 again signifying the shift in poverty from rural to urban areas.