India, as the world's second most populous nation (soon to overtake China), has challenges that match its scale. Amongst them are poverty, ethnic and religious tensions, severe water stress and widespread malnutrition. Yet for the last few decades India has been experiencing a huge economic boom, fairly consistently posting GDP growth rates amongst the highest in the world.
This much I already knew. But I recently came across this article, (H/T Colin) which looks at Indian nutrition and points out some rather surprising (at least to me) realities. Here were three things I didn't know:
- There are more malnourished children in India than in all of Africa.
- Indian nutrition figures have declined significantly since the 1970s, despite rapidly rising GDP.
- Urbanisation is often a very big step backwards nutritionally for the poorest, despite bringing (on average) a large rise in income, due city living having much higher costs.
So next time a politician tries to scare you or bribe you by referring to "the economy", remember the limitations of GDP.