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

Untold story of Jammu: Business 'down', students fear lynching, teachers can't speak

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report, seeking to debunk the view that people in Jammu, the second biggest city of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) after Srinagar, people had gone “out celebrating” abrogation of Article 370 which took away the state’s special status, has reported what it calls “abominably high levels of fear” across all sections in the town.

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Cess for Gujarat construction workers: Spending less than 10%; no 'direct help' to beneficiaries

By Our Representative
While the Gujarat government’s Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, set up in 2004, as of March 31, 2019, has collected a total cess of Rs 2,097.62 crore from the the builders, it has spent less than 10% -- Rs 197.17 crore. And, as on May 31, 2019, the total cess collection has reached Rs 2,583.16 crore, said a statement issued by Bandhkam Majur Sagathan general secretary Vipul Pandya.
Pointing out that just about 6.5 lakh out of 20 lakh workers have been registered under the board, Pandya said, vis-à-vis other states, Gujarat ranks No 13th in the amount spent on the welfare of the construction workers, while 11th in the amount collected.
And while the builders are obliged to pay just about 1% of the total cost of their project, the calculation of the cess is flawed: It is Rs 3,000 per square yard; accordingly, Rs 30 per square yard is collected. “Had the cess been collected on the real construction cost, it would have been at least Rs 7,000 cr…

Why nobody objected to Gautam Gambhir, Sunny Deol in t-shirt, jean?: Activists

By Our Representative
Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan’s excitement on their first day as MPs was overshadowed by a barrage of sexism over their ‘non- sanskari’ outfits, a group of civil society activists have said in a statement. According to Aarushi Nigam, Divya Kaushik, Riya Sharma, Ruman Ganguly, and Anulekha Agarwal, both Bengali actors and first-time MPs "were certainly excited to take them on when they posted pictures from their new workplace on social media."
Hit by misogynistic comments, the activists say, "Their choice of workwear – jeans and a white button-down shirt for Mimi, a wine-coloured peplum suit for Nusrat – was the first and last word on their political competence for many."
“You’re not on vacation”, “they have mistaken Parliament for Kolkata’s Nicco Park or City Centre”, “this is not a photo studio, this is a place where you should fight for people’s rights and legislate”, “keep some respect towards your Bengali society” were some of the &quo…

Kashmiris in a civil disobedience mode, are going against 'diktat' to open shops

Counterview Desk
A team of concerned citizens, including Ludhiana-based psychiatrist and writer Anirudh Kala, Mumbai-based activist and public health professional Brinelle Dsouza, Delhi-based journalist and writer Revati Laul, and social activist Shabnam Hashmi, travelled to Kashmir and Jammu to understand the impact of the abrogation of Article 370 and the subsequent security clampdown and communication blockade on the lives of the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

Gujarat CM aide 'doubts' authenticity of Gandhi article published in 'Harijan'

By Rajiv Shah
A top aide of Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has doubted the authenticity of the article written by Mahatma on Gandhi January 27, 1948, three days before his death. Hitesh Pandya, who was assistant public relations officer (PRO) under Narendra Modi’s chief ministership in Gujarat, and is currently serving as PRO of Rupani, has said, there is “reason to doubt”, since the article appeared on February 1, 1948, two days after Gandhi’s assassination.

Denied permission in Ahmedabad to protest on Kashmir, NGO seeks online support

By Our Representative
Gujarat chapter of the Delhi-based Now for Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), which calls itself is a socio-cultural organization established “as a response to 2002 Gujarat riots”, has sought support from state academics, activists and professionals for a petition against the “unilateral” decision of the Government of India to “revoke” Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) legislature’s “right to self-governance”.

Success of 'political' Hinduism: Kashmiris being depicted as antagonists of rest of India

By Anand K Sahay*
There are times in history when facts call attention to themselves; they assert their independence in all its amplitude and are in no need of the crutch of interpretation. Such a moment is visible in Kashmir now. Merely by being on the table, the facts there taunt the regime’s proclamations.

RSS chief's Hindutva motto seems to be: Down with lynching, long live vadh

By Shamsul Islam*
India has turned into the lynching capital of the world. Our country has been tagged with this infamous identity with Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister of India in 2014. The Modi rule herald the beginning of nation-wide spree of lynching of Dalits and minorities. Unfortunately, there is no government data collection on hate-crimes but few media outlets have been collecting the lynch data.