Book And Reports 2023

Gearing Up For a Billion-Plus Middle Class by 2047

Rajesh Shukla

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This volume represents our efforts to make available the Pan India ICE 360 Surveys (2014, 2016 and 2021) findings in a form that would be useful to marketing practitioners, corporate strategists, and academic researchers. With the present volume in the series, we are now able to assess the growth in different income groups over time. More importantly, this time-series gives us the basis to project the growth of various income classes for the rest of the two and half decades (2030 and 2047).

Our classification suggests that at 2020-21 prices, the household income for the middle-class household is pegged between Rs 5,00,000 and Rs 30,00,000 (approximately US$ 6,700 to US$ 40,000 a year at the exchange rate of Rs 74.28 prevailing then). This would imply that the Indian middle class consisted of 91 million households or 432 million individuals of which 50 per cent lived in rural areas. In 2015-16 the middle class was estimated at 348 million; by 2030-31 this group is expected to be around 715 million and 1.01 billion by 2046-47.

The overall category of the rich households, with income of over Rs 3 million (approximately US$ 40,000) in 2020-21, is estimated at 10.7 million households with 56 million people in them, compared to 6.9 million households with 37 million people in 2015-16. By 2030-31, their number is expected go up to 35 million households with 170 million consumers. Over three-fourth of India’s rich live in just eight states - Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Punjab.

On the other hand, the number of ‘destitute’ households - or those with an annual family income of less than Rs 125,000 (approximately US$ 1,700) in 2020-21- has marginally declined from 46.5 million in 2015-16 to 45.2 million households in 2020-21. By 2030-31 the number of such households will drop to 19.9 million and further decline to 7.2 million in 2046-47, located mostly in rural India.

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