The average American spends $97 every day, the average Chinese $7 and the average Indian $1.8, according to Goldman Sachs data and an IndiaSpend analysis.
An Indian living in a town or city spends Rs 88 ($1.8) every day and in a village Rs 48 (72 cents), according to our analysis of government spending data, last released in 2011-12. The Goldman Sachs study considered 2013 data.
This is what Indians in villages and cities spend each day, on average, on food, clothing, rent and other daily needs.
Among village folk, those in Kerala spend the highest: Rs 90 per day, followed by Goa at Rs 80, and Punjab at Rs 78.
Among urban folk, those in Haryana spent the most, Rs 127 per person per day, followed by Kerala at Rs 114 and Delhi at Rs 110.
Spending of Half of India: Lower than India’s average
Half the people in villages spend less than Rs 1,198 per month, which is Rs 40 per person per day, indicating the extent of poverty.
In cities, the poorest half of the people spent Rs 2,019 per month, or Rs 67 per person per day. Average spending in cities was Rs 20 higher than what the poor half spent–Rs 2,630 per month or Rs 87 per person per day. This shows inequality between the rich and the poor in urban India.
The poverty line in India is defined as the ability to spend Rs 47 per person per day in urban areas and Rs 32 in rural areas. As many as 363 million Indians, or 30%, live below the poverty line, as IndiaSpend has reported.
The global poverty line, as defined by the World Bank, is $1.90 (Rs 126).
The data above indicate how much money the poorest half Indians spend.
Except rural Delhi, where the spending of the poorest half is more than the average, the spending of the poorest half of the people is lesser than the average spending in all states, indicating, as IndiaSpend has reported, the country’s growing urban-rural divide.
Note: Calculations for per person per day spending for Indians are based on the 68th round of Household Consumer Expenditure survey 2011-12. Monthly Per Capita Expenditure surveys by the National Sample Survey Office of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation have been used to derive per day spending by each person. Rupee to Dollar conversion has been done at the rate from 2011-12.
(Tewari is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)
We welcome feedback. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. We reserve the right to edit responses for language and grammar.
Liked this story? Indiaspend.org is a non-profit, and we depend on readers like you to drive our public-interest journalism efforts. Donate Rs 500; Rs 1,000, Rs 2,000.