It wasn't the developing Bihar or the developed Gujarat that recorded the highest increase in the number of households with televisions, bicycles, two-wheelers and cars in the last decade; it was the long-ignored Northeast.
Putting aside years of lack of growth that was fuelled by a precarious law and order situation, these states are fast catching up with the rest of the country.
Data from the Houselisting and Housing Census 2011 showed between 2001 and 2011, in most asset parameters, these states performed better than others. However, compared to other northeastern states, Assam continued to lag.
The census data showed the number of households with televisions in Mizoram rose from 20 per cent in 2001 to 55 per cent in 2011, a 169 per cent rise, the highest in the country. In 2001, Mizoram had fewer households with television than the national average.
However, by the end of 2011, the number of such households in the state was eight per cent more than the national average.
A similar rise was seen in the case of Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura. These states registered growth that was more than the national average.
Though 43 per cent of households in the rest of the country stopped using radios/transistors, Manipur saw a rise of 26 per cent in the number of
The increase in households with four-wheelers was also impressive. Both Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh showed high growth in the number of households with cars, jeeps and vans. Between 2001 and 2011, these states recorded an increase of over 230 per cent, with Sikkim growing at 267 per cent - the highest rise.
In 2001, the percentage of households possessing four-wheelers in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh was lower than the national average. However, by the end of 2011, it was twice the national average.
Nagaland recorded the second- highest increase (126 per cent) after Kerala in the number of households with two-wheelers. Mizoram and Tripura also emerged among the top five states that witnessed the highest increase in the number of households with scooter/motorcycles and mopeds between 2001 and 2011. However none of the northeastern states had more households with two-wheelers than the national average.
An interesting trend was while in the bigger states, people moved away from bicycles to automobiles, households in the northeast continued to buy more of these.
Sikkim saw the highest rise of 110 per cent in the number of households with bicycles, followed by Mizoram, Tripura and Meghalaya. However, the rise in Sikkim and Mizoram was also because of a very low base over which the increase was measured.