Sample English Research Paper on Poverty in India


India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today. The phenomenon has been necessitated by growth in investments and technological revolution.. Despite these developments, about 28% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line (Thorat 420). it  comprises of individuals who cannot afford to feed, cloth, house, and educate their families. The high levels of poverty in India can be attributed to among other factors, the caste system, corruption within the government, limited employment opportunities, low levels of education among the poor, and low-paced development. The failure of the successive Indian governments to address the problem of poverty in the country has contributed to increased crime rates, heightened corruption, illiteracy, and low living standards among other factors.

Poverty in Urban India

India is experiencing economic growth, which has resulted in urbanization. The desire to acquire available opportunities in the urban areas has occasioned increased rural-urban migration. The relatively high population of individuals that migrates to urban areas does not secure the available employment opportunities because of limited skills and knowledge, which arise from inadequate and low-quality education. therefore, some of them settle for working as casual workers while oters establish their businesses in the informal sector. The occurences has been critical in worsening the poverty level in urban India because the income that the individuals earn does not satisfy their needs (Khare and Varman 1597). In urban areas such as Mumbai, life is relatively expensive and for individuals and consequently it is hard for people with a limited financial capacity to satisfy their basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and education.

Limited financial gains imply that the casual laborers and the self-employed persons in the informal sectors do not have sufficient finances that they can use in improving their well-being or business. They also do not own property as act as security to the secure loans from banks and other financial institution. A limited access to capital from banks denies them the opportunity of expediting economic growth within their levels. Existing statistics indicate that the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar, and Rajasthan constitute approximately 40% of the urban poor in the country. Furthermore, about 35% of the population of the four metro cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai live in slums (Maitra 110-111). Majority of the population in the slums are illiterate, and hence their competitiveness in the employment market is limited.

Poverty in Rural India

Poverty marks the lives of the majority of the population that lives in India. According to the 2011 caste and socio-economic census in the nation, about 19% of the rural population belongs to the scheduled castes while 11% are categorized as members of the Scheduled Tribes (Philip 207). Belonging to these social constructs implies that their economic status is predetermined with poverty as the defining factor. Majority of this population source their income from manual and casual labor and farming. It explains why approximately 50% are economically engaged in casual labor while 29% are engaged in farming activities. Moreover, the census report asserts that approximately 48% of the rural households live under deprivation (Philip 209). Indeed, this means that members of the rural families have limited opportunities to buy and own assets. Inadequate economic opportunities mean that only a fraction of the rural population pays taxes.  Since they contribute little revenue to the government, it cannot afford toon provid development opportunities for them.

Causes of poverty in India

Majority of Indians that live in abject poverty in rural India are farmers. Approximately 80% of the Indian population depends on agriculture as its main source of income and food. However, poor farming and agricultural practices have made it relatively difficult for the farmers to reap major economic benefits from their practices. The application of poor farming methods can be attributed to high illiteracy standards and insufficient farming skills among the farmers, which denies them the ability of incorporating modern agricultural approaches (Maitra 118). According to Thorat, rapid population growth is a major cause of poverty in India (425). it is because India is one of the countries with a high and  faster-growing population. is the two characteristics are considered as a threat to the possibility of unending poverty considering that despite having numerous resources, India has not been successful in exploiting them for the benefit of its population. It is based on this assertion that the available resources cannot satisfy the needs of the more than 1.2 billion people that live in the nation.

Unequal distribution of wealth has been a major cause of increased poverty in India because it widens the gap between the rich and the poor. The wealthy members of the society have developed systems for exploiting the underprivileged. The existing social systems advance the wquality, as theey predetermines an individual’s economic position (Thorat 423). The widening economic gap implies that the government, which is made up of the members of the more privileged class limits the resources to be used in developing rural areas and this is critical in limiting the possibility that the country will recover from the effects of abject poverty.

Rampant corruption among government officials in India also contributes to growing poverty rates in the country because the leaders who are elected or appointed into public offices use the opportunity to address and satisfy personal interest at the expense of national interest. Corruption has also provided opportunities for black money in the Indian market, which is a major cause of the rising cost of commodities (Thorat 422). It is through black money that a fraction of the population in India has all the privileges while the majority of suffers from abject poverty.

Effects of Poverty in India

Poverty in rural and in selected urban areas in Indi contributes to limited education opportunities. Indeed, the majority of the population in these areas is illiterate or semiliterate because insufficient resources make good education relatively expensive. the people do not have the means of satisfying basic necessities in life, so it is hard for them to afford an excellent education.

Poverty in India can be used in explaining why majority of the poor suffer from malnutrition and other health issues. Most of these individuals work as casual laborers and unskilled farmers, which means that they do not have adequate financial resources to afford quality food. They are left with no choice but to eat what they can access, which is often unbalanced meals. Furthermore, poverty in India is the main cause of the rise in slum population in urban areas, such as the metro cities (Thorat 420). Majority of the slum dwellers cannot afford comfortable housing because it is relatively expensive. The slums provide a cheaper alternative to their problems. The slums are usually crammed and dirty, and thus frequently expose their dwellers to diseases. Poor hygiene and sanitation that defines the slum areas in India can be attributed to high poverty rates in the country. Those living in them have limited education on the techniques of establishing proper sanitation and hygiene systems. They do not have the facilities and resources of establishing such systems considering that the government has put limited initiatives towards addressing the hygiene and sanitation challenges. Thus, the population is vulnerable to waterborne diseases (Rao 1). The danger of such level of poverty is that it contributes to social tension in the form of revolts and uprising from the poor in need of better opportunities for success.

High rates of rural-urban migration with the objective of seeking better opportunities are a major contributor of unemployment and poverty in India  because the majority of those that migrate to the urban areas do not have sufficient education and skills. Therefore, they are less competitive in the employment market (Khare and Varman 1595). It is because of the high unemployment rates that majority of the youth in slums engage in criminal activities, including and drug trafficking, to improve their economic status and thus live fulfilling lives.


Poverty in India has been caused by among other factors, high population growth rate, limited education and employment opportunities, and inadequate involvement by the government a these caste system. The government has the major responsibility in addressing poverty in the country by institutional measures that target national interests. These include providing opportunities for improving skills and knowledge for farmers, improving the education system, addressing corruption issues, dedicating more resources to industrialization, and developing systems to check the ever-rising population. These approaches will ensure the development of an equitable society that uses the available resources to address national interests.

Works Cited

Khare, Apoorv and Rohit Varman. “Subalterns, Empowerment and the Failed Imagination of

Markets.” Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 33, no. 17/18, Dec. 2017, pp. 15931602.

Maitra, Sudeshna. “The Poor Get Poorer: Tracking Relative Poverty in India Using a Durables-

Based Mixture Model.” Journal of Development Economics, vol. 119, Mar. 2016, pp. 110-120.

Philip, Neetha. “Culture and Poverty: A Case Study of a Girl with Special Educational Needs

from a Poor Community in South India.” Support for Learning, vol. 30, no. 3, Aug. 2015, pp. 205-222.

Rao, M. Prada. “Trends in Rural Poverty in India during 1973–74 to 2011–12.” Research

Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, no. 1, 2017, p. 1.

Thorat, Amit. “Escaping and Falling into Poverty in India Today.” World Development,

vol. 93, May 2017, pp. 413-426.