How big is the so-called middle class in India?


Sebastian ZangGeschrieben von:

Ansichten: 3475

Who from India’s great (future) market raves, relates generally to the affluent middle class. But how large is this group? Depending on the definition, the proportion is somewhere between 6 to 30 percent of the population which is approx. 70 to 400 million. Following are some definitions of the middle class in India from academics and Business industry as well as some estimations of its size on the subcontinent.

The author Fareed Zakaria, in his collection of essays “Reimagining India” [November 2013], estimated Indian middle class at 250 million. The Indian billionaire comes only in a few pages and some essays from a population of 400 million. A methodologically excellent study is that of the authors Christian Meyer and Nancy Birdsall from “Peterson Institute for International Economics.” The study was based on statistical data from the “National Sample Survey (NSS)” of the Indian government at the end of 2012. By definition the count here is of the middle class, who has 10 to 50 dollars per day (Purchasing power adjusted, reference year 2005). Based on this definition the authors are members of the middle class which is approx. 70 million (6% of the population).

Beyond the discussion about appropriate threshold values,the definition of middle class can be taken more generally. In the KPMG white paper “The Rise of the Middle Class in Asian emerging markets”, the author defines middle class as follows: “The emerging middle class has left behind their days of poverty. Without the need to worry about basic survival, they now look towards consuming beyond their basic needs. While they are not wealthy enough to spend as much as they would like, generally speaking, they are a strong force in driving consumption. From China, India and to the rest of Asia, people have shifted their focus from subsistence to consumption.”

Here is a differentiated analysis of the “Germany Trade & Invest” by income classes: India’s emerging Middle-class (in German). The study of authors Christian Meyer and Nancy Birdsall can be found here: New Estimates of India’s Middle Class.

[1] „Reimagining India“, Clay Chandler, Adil Zainulbhai, Simon & Schuster, 2013, Seiten 7 und 35
[2] ”Die indische Mittelschicht“, Surinder S. Jodhka / Aseem Prakash, in: „KAS AUSLANDSINFORMATIONEN 12|2011“ der Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Download des Artikels unter:
[3] “ The Rise of the Middle Class in Asian Emerging Markets – KPMG Whitepaper”, Michael Andrew / Peng Yali, April 2012, Download des Artikels unter:
[4] ”Indiens aufstrebende Mittelschicht“, Katrin Pasvantis, 27.02.2014, in: Online-Portal des „Germany Trade & Invest“,,did=968520.html [Seitenabruf am 08.03.2014]
[5] “New Estimates of India’s Middle Class”, Christian Meyer / Nancy Birdsall, Peterson Institute for International Economics, November 2012, Download des Artikels unter:

More info on India today …

On this forum you will find analyzes of contemporary India as well as tips for business, travel and more. You might also be interested in the following posts:

Comments are closed.

Um unsere Webseite für Sie optimal zu gestalten und fortlaufend verbessern zu können, verwenden wir Cookies. Durch die weitere Nutzung der Webseite stimmen Sie der Verwendung von Cookies zu. Weitere Informationen zu Cookies erhalten Sie in unserer