Chandigarh has the largest number of wealthy people in India, the recently released data of the National Family Health Survey 5 (NFHS) report has revealed. Seventy nine percent of the population in Chandigarh falls in the highest wealth quintiles, followed by Delhi (68%) and Punjab (61%).
In India, the wealthiest households are concentrated in urban areas, with as much as 74% of the urban population in the two highest wealth quintiles, as opposed to more than half of the rural population (54%) which falls in the two lowest wealth quintiles.
Kerala and Puducherry also have over 40% of their population in the highest wealth quintile.
The states with the highest percentages of population in the lowest wealth quintile are Jharkhand (46%), Bihar (43%) and Assam (38%).
While the percentage of population living in the lowest wealth quintile in Bihar has actually reduced from NFHS 4 when it was 51.2% to 43% in this round, Assam has seen a sharp rise of people living in the lowest wealth quintile from 24.4% in NFHS 4 to 38% now.
NFHS 5 has further found that Jains are the richest amongst the religious communities in India, with over 80% of its population
falling in the highest wealth quintile and only 1.6% falling in the lowest. The Sikh community is also wealthy, with 59.1% of its population falling in the highest wealth quintile.
The religion-wise data shows that Hindus and Muslims have the least wealth in the country – with 19.1% Hindus and 19.3% Muslims falling in the highest wealth bracket.
Seventy one percent of the population in scheduled tribe households and 49 percent of the population in scheduled caste households are in the two lowest wealth quintiles.
Interestingly the preferred mode of transport in urban India is the motorcycle, with 60.6% of the urban population travelling by this mode, followed by 43% on bicycles and only 13.8% of urban India travelling by cars. In rural India, even fewer own cars at 4.4% with the preferred mode of transport being bicycles at 54.2%.
The use of mobile phones has become ubiquitous across the country with 96.7% urban residents, and 91.5% rural residents using cell phones.
Correspondingly, the use of landlines is only 4.6% in urban, and even lower at 1.1% in rural areas. Eighty six percent of the urban population owns a colour television as opposed to 57% of the rural population. More residents own a home in rural India (76.4%) than in urban India (65.3%).
In India, almost all households – 99% urban households and 95% rural households, have access to an improved source of drinking water.
Sixty-nine percent of Indian households use improved toilet facilities, “which are non-shared facilities that prevent people from coming into contact with human waste and can reduce the transmission of cholera, typhoid, and other diseases,” says the report.
Nineteen percent of households in India do not use any toilet facility – practising open defecation.
Eighty-three percent of households have access to a toilet facility; a much higher accessibility in urban areas (96%) than in rural areas (76%). Access to a toilet facility ranges from 69 percent among scheduled tribe households to 93 percent among households which are not scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, or other backward class households.
Among the states and union territories, access to a toilet facility is lowest in Bihar (62%), followed by Jharkhand (70%) and Odisha (71%).
Almost all households in India (97%) have electricity. Three-fifths of households (60%) have pucca houses and 34 percent have semi-puccahouses.