Skip to main content

India's wealth differences between top and bottom are huge, middle class wealth share is shrinking: Credit Suisse report

By Our Representative
A new report, “Global Wealth Databook 2015” by top a global financial services firm based in Zurich, Credit Suisse, has found the existence of huge wealth differences in India. The report says that 755,563,000, or 95.4 per cent of adults in India, own wealth less than $10,000, while a minuscule 185,000, or 0.023 per cent of Indian adults, own more than $1 million.
The report has two other categories falling in between – those owning wealth between $10,000 and $100,000, and those owning between $100,000 and $1 million. While India’s 33,867,000 adults, or 4.28 per cent, fall in the former category, another 2,413,000 adults, or 0.3 per cent adults, fall in the latter category. In all, there are 790,022,000 adults in the country.
The report, which gives a new definition of the middle class by making wealth as the basic criterion, says that “to be a member of the middle class in 2015, according to our methodology, an adult needs at least USD 28,000 in Brazil, Chile and China; USD 22,000 in South Africa and Turkey; USD 18,000 in Malaysia, Russia and Thailand; and just USD 13,700 in India.”
Those with USD of 13,700 in India, or Rs 9.04 lakh under the present rupee-dollar rate or Rs 66 per dollar, form only 3% of adults having wealth above the middle class minimum, saying the “situation in Africa as a whole is almost identical.”
The report sharply disagrees with those who define middle class on the basis of income or consumption pattern. Based on the income method, in 2005, the World Bank had estimated middle class population at 264 million, using the median poverty line in 70 countries at the lower extreme ($2 per day), and the United States poverty line ($13 per day) as an upper extreme.
The other method, of using the consumption-based, criterion, (ownership of car or scooter, colour television, or telephone in households), found that India 20 per cent of population, or slightly over 200 million, belonged to the middle class.
Basing its calculation of the middle class on the basis of the ownership of wealth ($13,700 or more), the report finds that in India its share is 22.6% ($780 billion) of the country’s wealth. However, it finds that this share is declining over the last 15 years – it was 26.8 per cent in the year 2000, remained almost constant till 2007 at 26.4 per cent, but began declining to reach 24.9 per cent in 2008, 23.2 per cent in 2013, 23 per cent in 2014, and 22.6 per cent in 2015.
“Across regions, the middle class is most prevalent in North America, where 39 per cent of adults qualify, followed by Europe, where the proportion is one third. The share then drops sharply, to 15 per cent for the Asia-Pacific region (excluding China and India), around 11 per cent in China and Latin America, and just 3 per cent in Africa and India”, it says. 
Wealth per capita overtime in India
“The size and wealth of the middle class varies greatly across countries, ranging from 3% of the adult population in India to 66% of adults in Australia”, the report says, adding, “Surprisingly, only 38 per cent of adults in the United States qualify as middle class according to our criterion, a much lower percentage than the 50% to 60% figure found in most high income countries.”
Comparing China’s middle class with that of India, the report says, “In China the number of middle class adults grew by 38 million between 2000 and 2015, and their wealth rose by $5.6 trillion. As a consequence, there are now more global middle class members in China (109 million) than there are in the United States (92 million). In contrast, India added only 6.7 million adults to the middle class, and middle class wealth rose by just $1.2 trillion.”
It adds, “This divergence in experiences is partly due to faster overall wealth growth in China, and partly because the populous mid-portion of the Chinese wealth distribution is moving into the global middle class, whereas it is still far from doing so in India.”

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Russia, China to call the shots in Middle East, as Muslim nations turn into house of cards

By Haider Abbas* Only a naive would buy that the ‘situation of ceasefire’ between the State of Israel and Hamas would continue, as if the foiled attempt to demolish Al Aqsa this time, is not be repeated, if not in any near future then in sometime to come. Israel already has spurned the ‘ceasefire’ by storming Al Aqsa after the Friday prayers on May 21.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Modi-led regime 'contributed' 60% to rise of global poverty, yet Hindutva is intact

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* In recent years, the Hindutva politics has caused long term damage to India and Indians. The so called 56-inch macho PM, the propaganda master manufactures and survives all political crisis including the current mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic in India. In spite of deaths and destitutions, the social, cultural, economic and religious base of Hindutva is intact.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.