Infographics 2024

Incomes up since COVID, but poorest 20% still below FY16 level: PRICE Study

Rajesh Shukla

While the average annual household income increased to over Rs 3.6 lakh in 2022-23, for the poorest it rose to Rs 1,14,000. That was 16% below the 2015-16 level of Rs 1,37,000. Income levels in what PRICE classifies as upper-middle and rich segments not only did not fall due to Covid, but actually increased — pointing out how lower income segments are more vulnerable to such shocks, necessitating government intervention. The pandemic also resulted in the gap between the richest and the poorest 20% widening from 3.8 times in 2015-16 to 11 times in 2020-21 before narrowing to 7 times during the last financial year. The numbers also showed that household income in rural India has climbed 16.6% to over Rs 3.1 lakh annually, as against a 7% expansion in urban areas to a little under Rs 4.5 lakh.