Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Incoming Income

I was just browsing around once again looking for some interesting article/report on how in general the world around is working when i stumbled upon some figures relating to household income and socio-economic classes in India and US. Although the income ranges for different classes differ by a gigantic gap, but the quantity of individuals in those various classes actually is very similar.
Indian Lower class: 75000-1.5 lacs p.a. ($1500 to $3000); About 200-300 million strong Note that for people making under the 75k, the Poor class segment contains about 30% or 300 million Indians who live on that notoriously infamous statistic of $2 a day)
Indian Middle class: 1.5 - 5 lacs p.a. ($3000 to $12000) with further subdivisions of Lower Middle:1.5-3 lacs p.a. and Upper Middle: 3- 5 lacs p.a.; this class is synonymous with upper middle class in western countries with the added advantage of maids and servants and chauffers due to the surplus of such manual labor in India; About 300-500 million strong in India which makes them the largest consumer population maybe right alongside China.
Indian Upper Class: 5-15 lacs p.a. ($12000 to $30,000); About 100 million strong, this class is comparable in lifestyle and consumption habits similar to Upper middle or Upper class in western countries which include multiple cars, latest electronics equipments, multiple residences/property along with all the perks of middle class. There are also pure Elites who earn more than these, and these are exactly just like the elites in any country in the world with living an aristrocratic life with significant political and public connections above all.

In America however, a similar trend is seen with the middle class only, which comprises of households earning anywhere from $45k to 85k a year, consisting of about 60% of population of 340 million. So both countries have almost equal percentage of people in the middle bracket but the main difference in US is that even the Lower Class, let alone the Middle Class, can afford Indian Luxuries such as cars, televisions, internet, private home etc. where as in India even for the Upper Middle class obtaining things such as private residence and multiple cars is a very distant dream. Even some doctors i know off cannot afford a car or a LCD tv, something they either have to get financing for or save to great extent. But on the other hand luxuries like having servants to perform routine household chores is very economical ($20 a month for maid, $100 for a chauffer). So as they say. the grass is always greener on the other side.....just gottta get the best of both if possible......

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