This chapter provides an overview of the trends and patterns, both over time and across States. It reviews the literature on the causes of the persistence of poverty in the country, focuses on the roles of agricultural growth and social exclusion in particular. The chapter deals with a discussion of the measurement of poverty in India, where there has been considerable debate on what constitutes ‘true’ poverty, following the release of estimates by the India Planning Commission. It highlights the important role of agro-ecological factors in mediating the relationship between agricultural growth and rural poverty, and presents patterns of poverty incidence among the Dalits and Adivasis and discusses why poverty has persisted in the several social groups. The chapter also discusses the possible determinants of poverty in India: agricultural growth and social structure. There is an extensive empirical literature which addresses the relationship between agricultural growth and rural poverty in the Indian context.