Consumer Pyramids Lite Results from India's Largest survey of Households
Over 158,000 Households Surveyed every Quarter
Demographic characteristics of over 700,000 individuals
31 Jul 2015 11:11 AM, Insights Ritika Gupta

Top 1% households earn Rs.70,000 or more per month

Average income Rs.14,000 and median income Rs.9,000 per household

The average monthly income of Indian households was a little more than Rs.14,000 during the quarter ended December 2014. But, the distribution of this average was skewed such that only about a quarter of all households earned such an amount or more. Evidently, a lot of the total income earned by households is concentrated in the relatively richer ones.

Descriptive statistics presented in Consumer Pyramids shows this distribution in some detail. Accordingly, a quarter of the households earned Rs.15,000 per month or more. There were an estimated 276 million households in India and so about 69,000 of these earned Rs.15,000 or more per month by the end of 2014. Further, only 10 per cent of the households (ie about 28 million households) earned Rs.25,000 or more per month. And, the top 1 per cent of the households (2.76 million) earned almost Rs.70,000 or more per month.

The median income was Rs.9,000 per month. Half the households earned more than this and the remaining half earned less than this. The top half earned 77 per cent of the total income and the bottom half earned the remaining 23 per cent.

The middle half (between the first and third quartile) earned between Rs.6,000 and Rs.15,000 per month. Their incomes accounted for about 38 per cent of the total income of all households. The top 21 per cent of households (about 58 million households) accounted for half of the income of all households in India. So, these 58 million households had a purchasing power of about Rs.5.85 trillion during the quarter ended December 2014.

Income at the bottom of the pyramid is low and volatile. They can literally evaporate to nothing. The lowest five per cent of households (13.8 million) earned Rs.3,200 or less during this period. But, about one per cent of the households did not report any income during the quarter ended December 2014. This implies that 2.76 million households at the wrong end of the distribution could not earn any income during this quarter.