NEW DELHI // The average household in rural India spends less than three dirhams per head a day, with their urban equivalents consuming almost double, according to government data.
The latest study from the National Sample Survey Office, taken every two years, shows that average monthly per capita expenditure for a rural household was just 1,281 rupees (Dh84) compared with 2,401 rupees in cities.
The poorest 10 per cent in rural areas - a grouping of about 80 million people - get by on just 503 rupees on average a month, or just 17 rupees a day, according to preliminary data from the survey.
Despite the low absolute numbers, there were sharp increases in household expenditure in 2011-12 compared with 2009-10, with rural families seemingly benefiting as much as their urban equivalents from rising incomes.
Average per capita spending in rural areas rose 38 per cent over the past two years in current prices - without adjusting for India's high inflation - and 18 per cent on an adjusted basis.
Urban expenditure rose 34 per cent over the past two years on an unadjusted basis and 13 per cent on an adjusted basis, suggesting city-dwellers had been hit more by inflation which has been running at near double figures.