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Understanding middle class in India

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Since 2004-05 India has gone through rapid change in the size of middle class. And it is quite acceptable that the size of middle class would be more than double in next 10 years. According to National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), there is middle-class population of 267 million in 2016 and estimated that the size of middle-class would be 475 million by 2030. The increase in size of middle-class is the biggest socio-economic change till now. This part of hierarchy in society is not treated as rich nor as poor. In hierarchical terms middle-class is above poor segment (lower-class) and below riches (upper-class). Middle-class population is having an involvement in each sector; service, agriculture & industrial.

Some reports argue that, amounting to nearly half of India’s population comes under the strata of middle-class. Who are they? In monetary terms middle-class is that part of population who spends in between $2 (Rs 128) and $10 (Rs 655). Some economists defines it in terms of lifestyle of person. Like the one whose commonly uses scooter or motercycle, who can not afford luxury lifestyle or who gets most affected with inflation.we can define middle-class as;

The group of people which belongs to that position in strata, who are neither rich nor poor, whose only basic necessities (like: Food, Cloth, Shelter, Education and Healthcare) are fulfilled but they are still deprived of quality or standard in their living. But plays big role in market, and responsible for maintaining balance in society due to their size.

The people belonging to middle-class are from different background, castes & religion but with common interest. Since movement for independence in India they played an strong role, It would be right to say that middle-class is base of protest and demonstration in national movements.

The emergence of middle-class is associated with; urban and educated with a salaried job; qualified and independent professionals; enterprising, mobile and young women and men. The main reason of growth in middle class is economic development also which leads to increasing job opportunities. Middle-class in present era is the reason of economic empowerment, political awareness & cultural stability. They are also known as “Managerial Class” as they are at higher rank than of ‘wage earners’ and also obtained good education and training.

Globally there is rapid development in middle-class that in 2011, 784 million of people in world belongs to middle-class which is about 13% of worlds’ population. Even the country like china whose per capita is around 25%of US’ is trapped into middle income trap. As according to world bank the country with more than $12,236 Gross National Income (GNI) calculated as per Atlas Method will be considered as high-income economy. Where India is called Lower-Middle income country.

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