Urban households spend 84% more per month than their rural counterparts on household expenditure, according to a paper released by the Ministry of Statistics. “Household Consumer Expenditure across Religious Groups in India”, a paper by Monojit Das, deputy director of the National Sample Survey Office, looks into variations in consumer expenditure by various religious groups.
Household monthly per capita consumer expenditure (MPCE), usually taken to reflect the living standard of households, is Rs 2,630 for urban India, 84% more than the MPCE for rural India which is Rs 1,430.
The difference in rural and urban spending is the least for Muslims, suggesting that where a household lives has the least bearing on its economic position. The difference in rural and urban spending is the highest for Hindus at 67.04%; for Christians it is 47.36%.
The difference in spending in urban and rural households is the least in the country’s Muslim community which remains one of the most poor sections of Indian society. Spending on food is the highest for Muslim households; this community’s expenditure on food is higher than non-food expenditure.
Economists say that the poor tend to spend most of their expenditure on essentials like food. The share of spending on food and beverages decreases as a household’s income rises.
The share of food expenditure for Muslims in Rural India is 59.3% compared to the national average of 52.9%. In urban India, Muslims spend 49.5% on food compared to the national average of 42.6%.