Starting today, Business Standard presents exclusive excerpts from the National Council of Applied Economic Research's forthcoming 'The Great Indian Middle Class' which is based on a sample of over 3,00,000 households and is a part of NCAER's annual household survey.
The report has data from 1995-96, and all numbers have been computed at 2001-02 prices in order to make the trend comparisons meaningful. This four-part series will look at India's middle and rich income groups, providing details of where they live, how they have grown over the years and are likely to multiply.
Produced in association with Business Standard the book will be published shortly. Watch this space for further announcements.
Contrary to popular perception, Mumbai is not the country's richest city, either in terms of the total number of people earning more than, say, Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million) a year, or even in terms of their density (the number of rich per million in the city).
This honour, the latest household income survey from the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) shows, belongs to Delhi.
Roughly half the country's crorepatis, or "super rich" families, which have an annual household income of over Rs 1 crore, live in these two metros. But Delhi has around 15 per cent more crorepatis than Mumbai.
Indeed, in terms of the population density, or the number of crorepati households per million households in these cities, Delhi's ascendancy increases dramatically. While one in 500 households in Delhi has an annual household income of over Rs 1 crore, the figure is one in 800 for Mumbai.
The number of crorepati families in Mumbai, though, did grow faster compared with Delhi in the period 1995-96 to 2001-02.
In the case of households in the next income category, of Rs 50 lakh (Rs 5 million) to Rs 1 crore, Delhi has 9,174 such households, which is around a fourth higher than Mumbai's 7,428.
In terms of density, one in 300 households in Delhi has an annual income of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore, and the figure is one in 475 for Mumbai.
While Delhi's ascendancy over Mumbai extends for all higher income categories, interestingly, Mumbai begins to score over Delhi when it comes to the number of lower income households.
At 1.8 million, Mumbai has the country's highest number of households in the Rs 90,000 to Rs 2 lakh (Rs 200,000) bracket, while Delhi is around half at around 0.9 million such households.
Mumbai has 0.8 million households who earn under Rs 90,000 a year compared to Delhi' s 0.2 million. In terms of density, one in 4.25 households in Mumbai earns under Rs 90,000 a year compared to one in around 12 for Delhi.
While Delhi's average household income is 43 per cent higher than that of Mumbai, Delhi-ites spend a lot less. While the capital's citizenry saves a fourth of its income, Mumbaikars save just a tad over 17 per cent of their annual income.
While Delhi-ites spend more of their income on education and health, Mumbaikars spend more on clothes (6.7 per cent of annual income versus 5.5), entertainment (4.4 versus 3.5) and food (39 versus 31.6).