Consumer expenditure data

Rural-urban divide in spending patterns

Print edition : September 20, 2013

The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, released the key indicators of household consumer expenditure in India, generated from data collected between June 2011 and June 2012 in its 68 round survey, in June 2013. The data form crucial inputs for the Planning Commission in estimating poverty levels. For people living in cities, the survey shows, a lower percentage of spending is dedicated to food, about 42.6 % than for those in villages, about 52.9%.

The all-India estimate of the average monthly per capita estimate (MPCE) was Rs.1,430 in rural areas and Rs.2,630 in urban India. So the average urban MPCE is 84% higher than the average rural MPCE. The differential varies widely between States.

Only about 10% of the rural population reported household MPCE above Rs.2,296; only 5% reported MPCE above Rs.2,886. Only 10% of the urban population reported household MPCE above Rs.4,610 and only 5% reported MPCE above $s. 6383.

Rural Areas.

Employment pattern: In villages, self-employment is the mainstay for all religious groups. Self-employment in agriculture is the highest among Sikh households (about 36%). Among rural male workers, self-employment was highest among Sikhs (55%), followed by Hindus (54%)

Unemployment rate in rural areas was highest for Christians, for both men (3%) and women (6%).

For households cultivating portions of land between 0.001 and one hectare of land, the figure for land owners among different communities was 43% for Christian households, 38% among Muslim households, and 37% for Hindus. For households cultivating more than 4 hectares of land, the figure for land owners was highest for Sikhs (6%), followed by Hindus (3%)

Gender Factor: In rural areas, the proportion of self-employment among male workers was about 54% compared with 56% among women, with a significant number of them engaged in casual labour.

Urban Areas:

Employment pattern: In urban India, Muslim households formed the highest proportion (46%) of those that had self-employment as the major source of earnings. Christian households formed the highest proportion (43%) of those that depend on earnings on wage/salaried jobs. Unemployment rate was the highest among Sikhs: men (6%) and women (8%). Among urban Hindus, about 44% of the men and 40% of the women were engaged in regular wage/salaried employment.

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