Poverty is widespread in India, with the nation estimated to have a third of the world’s poor. According to a 2005 World Bank estimate, 41% of India falls below the international poverty line of US$ 1.25 a day (PPP, in nominal terms 21.6 a day in urban areas and 14.3 in rural areas); having reduced from 60% in 1981. According to the criterion used by the Planning Commission of India 27.5% of the population was living below the poverty line in 2004–2005, down from 51.3% in 1977–1978, and 36% in 1993-1994. A study by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative using a Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) found that there were 421 million poor living under the MPI in eight north India states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. This number is higher than the 410 million poor living in the 26 poorest African nations. However, latest estimates by NCAER (National Council of Applied Economic Research), show that 48% of the Indian households earn more than 90,000 (US$ 2,043) annually (or more than US$3 PPP per person). According to NCAER, in 2009, of the 222 million households in India, the absolutely poor households (annual incomes below 45,000) accounted for only 15.6 % of them or about 35 million (about 200 million Indians). Another 80 million households are in income levels of 45,000-90,000 per year. Since the 1950s, the Indian government and non-governmental organizations have initiated several programs to alleviate poverty, including subsidizing food and other necessities, increased access to loans, improving agricultural techniques and price supports, and promoting education and family planning. These measures have helped eliminate famines, cut absolute poverty levels by more than half, and reduced illiteracy and malnutrition.