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13 Jan 2018

Jains are the wealthiest Indian community: National survey

Jains are the wealthiest religious community in India. Delhi and Punjab are the richest states. Bihar is the poorest.

These are the findings of the fourth round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), recently released by the ministry of health and family welfare.

Conducted over 6 lakh Indian households in 2015-16, it also reveals poverty as a largely rural phenomenon.

Read on for more.

In context

People in Delhi, Punjab richest in India: Report


NFHS-4 report classifies households on basis of wealth index

The NFHS-4 report uses a wealth index, based on scores on ownership of consumer goods and household characteristics, such as availability of basic facilities like clean drinking water.

It then uses this information to classify all households into wealth quintiles. The lowest quintile has the poorest 20%, the top has the wealthiest 20% of the lot, reported Hindustan Times.


Bihar poorest, Rajasthan has most equitable wealth distribution

Among states, Delhi and Punjab lead the way with over 60% of their households in the top wealth quintile. Goa follows next with 54.5% households in the top bracket.

With more than half of its households in the bottom quintile, Bihar scores the lowest.

With similar number of households in all quintiles, wealth in Rajasthan is arguably the most equitably distributed among all Indian states.

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Wealth similarly distributed among Hindus and Muslims

Religious communities

Wealth similarly distributed among Hindus and Muslims

With 70% of its population in the top quintile, Jains are the most prosperous religious community in India. Only 1.5% of Jain households fall in lowest two quintiles.

Sikhs follow next, with 59.6% of their people in the top wealth quintile.

Hindus and Muslims have similar (also the most equitable) wealth distribution across all quintiles.

India's scheduled tribes are the poorest

Upper castes have almost double the families in the top quintile as compared to any other caste. Scheduled tribes, with 45.9% of their people in the lowest quintile, are the poorest.

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