The socio economic caste census 2011 is the first comprehensive exercise to estimate India’s rural poverty levels. Nearly one of the three people in India’s villages or about 31% of the rural population is poor with an income hardly enough to buy even the bare essentials. Three out of 4 households in rural India earns less than Rs 5000 per month. In more than half the cases 51.8% of the total number of rural families the main income earners barely manage to make both ends meet by working as manual or casual laborers. 56% of the rural Indian households have no land or property. About 30% of the households were directly engaged in farming but another 51% were employed as farm or manual laborers.
According to the reports the analysis of the findings shows that 31.2% of India’s rural households can be called poor. About 275 million people in rural areas live in deprivation a state of being where people struggle to make subsistence living. In 2002 a similar census had estimated India’s rural poverty at 36% of the population, about 267 million .In 10 years only 8 million people moved out of poverty.
The census covered 640 districts with households that have motorized 2/3/4 wheelers or fishing boats, Kisan credit cards with Rs 50,000 credit limit, a member with a government job or earning Rs 10000 per month were excluded as poor. The households without shelter, destitute, beggars, manual scavengers, primitive tribes and bonded labors were considered as poor.
The statistics reveal that 4.5% of households pay income/professional tax. 5% have a member with a salaried government job. 11% own a refrigerator.68.35% own a mobile phone.3.5% have a member with a salaried private job.74.5% households have a highest earning member who makes less than Rs 5000 a month. Around 20% own a vehicle – 2/3/4 wheeler or fishing boat.
Among states Madhya Pradesh has emerged as the poorest with 24% poor households followed by Chhattisgarh 21% and Bihar 19%. The census highlighted how many of the poorest districts were lagging behind despite years of welfare programmes and state funded doles.The data also showed a majority of rural households fell in the low income category despite the country's achievements in poverty reduction.
The SECC data analysis categorizes the population on the deprivation levels and will help the government prioritize schemes meant for the most deprived. The study also analyzed data from a caste wise breakdown of population for the first time since 1931.The SECC analysis uses an exclusion- inclusion method to do a headcount of the poor.
Households with 1 room having kucha walls and roof.
No member between 16 to 59 years of age.
Female head with no adult male member between 16 and 59 years of age.
Scheduled caste, Scheduled tribe and landless households.
Households with no literate adult above age 25 years.
Major income from manual labor.