Prevalence of Child Poverty in India and China

S. Chandrasekhar, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR)
M.H. Suryanarayana, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR)

It is well known that when one compares infant and child health indicators, India lags China by a large margin. This paper focuses on child poverty, an issue gaining increasing attention. We review the literature on estimates of child poverty in China. We provide estimates of absolute and relative child poverty in India for the years 1993-94 and 1999-00. Comparability issues aside, it appears that that prevalence of child poverty is markedly higher in India compared to China. While absolute child poverty declined significantly in India during the reform period, relative child poverty decreased only marginally in rural areas. In fact relative child poverty increased in urban areas. One conclusion that can be drawn is that children in India are much more deprived along multiple dimensions (health and economic) compared to children in China.

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Presented in Session 35: Demographic Billionaires: India and China Compared