Factors that affect poverty in India

August 31, 2021 0 Comments

Yojana Helpline: Factors that affect poverty in India

Anytime you’re faced with a problem, the first thing that you need to do is find the cause of it. Figuring out the root of a certain issue brings you closer to finding the answer. The same can be said for the poverty that India has been facing for many years.

India is one of the poorest countries in the world. Back in 2019, the United Nations estimated that 28% of the country’s population is poor, which is an estimated number of 364 million individuals.

But why is India struggling with poverty for so long? What are the factors that can be attributed to why this challenge has been lingering in the country for several years?

Here at Yojana Helpline, we want to make the country a better place. We want to inform the citizens of India of some of the best government schemes available today. But, before we can figure out solutions for the problem, we must first understand the causes of this problem. 

Here are some of the factors that affect poverty in India:


One of the main culprits of this problem is that there is a division between the different ‘classes’. Marginalization causes exclusion which further broadens the gap between the poor and the rich. Instead of helping those in need, some of the people who belong in the ‘higher class’ discriminates against the poor.

This also leads to social inequality where some people are left out because of differences such as ethnic groups, gender and class. Until today, those who belong in the ‘lower class’ are left out and are being detached from mainstream society. This way of living discourages the needy to reach success because they are left to think that they are lesser than others.

If all the people find a way to help each other, they may just find the solution to the problem that they’re facing in the first place which is poverty.


A major effect of marginalization and poverty in general to the country is illiteracy. Proper education is hard to come by, especially in rural areas.

Education is key to having a job in the future. That’s why the more people who don’t know how to read or write, the higher the unemployment rate will be.

India also has an issue regarding education among women. The cases of teenage pregnancies and early marriages stop them from being able to continue their education. If they manage to finish studying and pursue the careers that they want, they would be able to make a difference in the economy. 

Educated women can also know that keeping the family size small is healthier and better. They can also pass down their knowledge to their kids thus raising smart children.

Uncontrollable population growth

One of the biggest effects of not having proper education in the country is that people are deprived of sex education especially in rural areas where early marriages are rampant. Lack of knowledge regarding safe sex and reproductive healthcare leads to uncontrollable population growth. 

When a country has uncontrollable population growth, it leads to poverty. This creates a situation where the population is growing but the resources are the same. The result is that more people are being added to the population of the poor yet few are being rescued from poverty. This problem goes back to illiteracy where large families only have one or two members who are employed and generating income for them.

Although it is worth noting that India has been seeing a significant decrease in the growth rate of its population over the decades, the country’s population won’t stabilize until 2050.

Gender disparity

As the years go by, more and more people have been supporting gender equality. Sadly, the same can’t be said about India. To this day, women in the country are still being discriminated against and exploited. Gender equality is one of the keys to having a successful economy and it is part of human development as a whole. That’s why it’s sad that the country still hasn’t been able to catch up with other nations. 

Thousands of job opportunities are being missed by women in the country just because of their gender. These women could have helped in building the economy but they were forced to stay at home to take care of their children because of early marriages. Thankfully, some government schemes are taking action against this issue but as of today, the problem is still at large.

Men are the only ones free to choose their preferred jobs and positions while women are continued to be looked down upon. It also coincides with the uncontrollable population growth and illiteracy because women lack the awareness of proper family planning which in turn results in poverty.

Unequal wealth distribution

This factor goes along with marginalization where the population is divided because of social class, ethnicity, gender, etc. However, unequal wealth distribution occurs between the bustling cities of India and its rural countryside. 

The rural area of the country is often discriminated against and neglected even though the majority of the population lives there. The recipient of various economic development has always been the cities since the British colonial left the country in 1947. That’s why you will see the obvious difference between the lifestyles of citizens living in the countryside and those living in the city.

A system called, The ‘Zamindari system’ has also been present in the country ever since ancient times where land ownership is unevenly distributed. Most of the land was given under the control of various landlords while the majority of the population is landless. 

The people who were left landless were then forced to work to pay rent and survive. This system has been one of the biggest culprits of India’s poverty because it left the citizens of the rural areas poor.


You can’t mention poverty without mentioning corruption. Almost every country deals with this problem and India is no different. This issue is widespread in the country and one of the biggest proofs of this is that the welfare funds that are meant to reach needy families are being pocketed by middlemen. According to the Late Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi, only 15% of the welfare funds reached the designated receivers.

This method is one of the most common ways people with connections to higher power gain money. The problem is, the poor don’t have a voice in this fight and they are forced to be deprived of what is theirs. They also can’t assert their feelings and reactions to the government.

Sadly, the biggest culprit of corruption in the country is some of the government schemes that are meant to benefit the poor. We’re not including every scheme but some use their power to siphon the money that’s meant for the people.

Ever since the economic reform in India that started in July 1991, the rate of corruption began to steadily increase. However, it peaked during Manmohan Singh’s ruling over the country (2004-2014).

When Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014, the people began to be hopeful. Modi has been known to be honest, efficient and judicious.

Those are some of the factors that affect poverty in India. Now that you’ve learned about these things, it’s time for you to find out what are the effects of this in the country. Here are some examples to give you a quick idea:

High infant mortality

One of the saddest and devastating effects of poverty in the country is high infant mortality. What this means is that because of overpopulation and scarce resources, families don’t have the means to raise their children sometimes. 

Studies have shown that 1.4 million Indian children die each year before they could even reach their fifth birthday. Some of the reasons for their untimely deaths include:

  • Malaria
  • Pneumonia
  • Malnutrition
  • Diarrheal diseases.


Because of the scarce supply of food, more than 200 million people don’t have access to it. This means that this is also the number of people who don’t get the sufficient nourishment that their body needs which leads to malnutrition.

Out of these 200 million people, 61 million are children which attribute to the high mortality rate in infants.

Child labour

Child labour is an issue caused by illiteracy, lack of awareness of family planning and insufficient supply of resources. Several families in the country have dozens of children. Children who are victims of child labour are forced to work at a young age to supply provisions for their families.

This also leads to a lack of education. The mindset of these children has been moulded by society to earn money instead of studying in school. They believe that education is no longer needed and the only thing that they need to do is work to profit.

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