At Rs 1,757 per month, Hindu households had the lowest average consumption expenditure in rural India in 2011-12, the latest year for which data are available by religion, while Muslim households spent the least in urban areas at Rs 2,355 per month, according to a new paper.
In rural areas, while Muslim households in rural areas spent only Rs 3 per month more than Hindu, they spent Rs 580 per month less than Hindu households in urban areas, said the September 2017 paper by Monojit Das, deputy director of field operations at the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), India’s official socio-economic surveyor.
Christian households were the richest among the three major religions in both rural and urban areas, spending Rs 2,200 and Rs 3,242 per month respectively.
Among the poorest 10% households by monthly spending in rural India, Hindus spent the least at Rs 591 per month and Christians the most at Rs 648. In urban areas among the poorest 10%, Muslim households spent the least at Rs 728 and Christians the most at Rs 1,043 per month.
Among the richest 10% households in rural areas, Christians spent the most at Rs 5,131 per month and Hindus the least at Rs 3,588. In urban areas, Muslim households spent the least at Rs 5,624 per month and Christians the most at Rs 11,254 per month among the richest 10%.
The research was based on NSSO’s survey in the year ending June 2012. Das considered three religions–Hinduism, Islam and Christianity–because these contribute to about 97% of the total population. Others included Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and other smaller religions.
(Vivek is an analyst with IndiaSpend and FactChecker.)