Trends and Determinants of Rural Poverty: A Logistic Regression Analysis of Selected Districts of Punjab

Poverty has many dimensions, like malnourishment, no shelter, being ill and not having ability to visit a doctor, no facility to go to school, unemployment, uncertainty of tomorrow, surviving only one day at a time. Poverty is losing a kid to illness due to the infected water. Powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom is another name of poverty. Poverty is of many types varying from place to place and time to time, and, has been portrayed in various manners. Poverty is the “incapability to maintain a minimum living standard anticipated with respect to basic consumption needs or some amount of income required for satisfying them [World Bank (2006)]. The bulk of the global poor are rural and will linger on thus for numerous decades. The major portion of their expenditure is generally on staple food. They have little assets such as land and others, lack of schooling and face lots of interconnecting obstacles to develop. Approximately 1.2 billion people globally expend less than a standard; “dollara- day”; and are in “dollar poverty”; 44 percent in South Asia about 24 percent each in Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia and 32 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean. Almost 75 percent of the dollar poor lived and worked in rural areas in 2001. Projection made in 2001 suggested that 60 percent would continue to be in this state in 2005 [IFAD (2001)]. Pakistan’s population is estimated at around 155 million, and is growing at 1.9 percent per annum. Nearly 61 percent of the country’s populations live in rural areas. While 65 percent of the rural population is directly or indirectly linked with agriculture sector, it constitutes only 45 percent of their income [Pakistan (2006)]. According to the official statistics, poverty in the rural areas has gone down form 39 percent in 2001-02 to 28 percent in 2005-06. [Pakistan (2006)]. However, some studies have contradicted these contentions and argue that in contrast, the rural poverty has remained unchanged or even been trending higher over this period or at least not decreased as much as shown in official statistics. [Kemal (2003); Malik (2005); World Bank (2006); Anwar (2006)].