The first of its kind since 1932, results from the Socio Economic and Caste Census launched in 2011 were flagged off today by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. While the socio-economic data has been made public, the more sensitive – and, in some cases, telling – caste data has been placed for discussion before Parliament, according to Jaitley. Here’s what the preliminary numbers say.
1. Households holding any land
On average, 44% of Indian households hold some kind of land – either for subsistence or residence. The number climbs to 94% among rural households.
2. Homeless people
Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka and West Bengal have the most urban homeless people.
3. Women in charge
12.83% of Indian households are led by a woman. Among the ‘major’ states, the highest numbers are in Kerala, Goa and Uttarakhand, whereas the lowest are in Chandigarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
4. Mentally ill
5. SC/ST households
The northeastern states have the most tribal households.
6. Make of the houses
Kuccha-type walls for the houses are nominally proxies for insufficient income and lack of a clean living environment. The fractions of such houses are consistently higher in the northeastern states – is it a coincidence that these states also have the higher proportions of tribal households?
7. Paying Income/Professional Taxes
If a household pays Income Tax, then it means it has a salaried member with a taxable income – the SECC draws the line at Rs.5,000/month for the survey’s purposes.
8. Begging for bread
About 4.6% of India’s households rely on begging and collecting alms as their main source of income. The numbers are lowest in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
9. Mobiles only
About 28.5% of the households in Chhattisgarh have only a mobile as opposed to a landline connection as well – and that’s the lowest in the country. At least half the houses in every other state (except Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh) own a mobile phone connection only.
According to the SECC, 64% of rural Indians are literate – differing from the Census’s higher tally of 68%. Even so, more than 20% of those are literate have only finished primary school. Also, almost 18% are enrolled to primary education but only 3.45% are graduates (or better).
Note: This piece was updated on July 4 with a tenth chart (on education).