Background & objectives: Human development index (HDI) is extensively used to measure the standard of living of a country. India made a study progress in the HDI value. Extreme poverty is concentrated in rural areas of northern States while income growth has been dynamic in southern States and urban areas. This study was undertaken to assess the trends in HDI, human poverty index (HPI) and incidence of poverty among Indian states, the socio-economic, health, and diet and nutritional indicators which determine the HDI, changes in protein and calorie adequacy status of rural population, and also trends in malnutrition among children in India. Methods: The variations in socio-economic, demographic and dietary indicators by grades of HDI were studied. The trends in poverty and nutrition were also studied. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analysis were done to analyse data.