According to a report by the National Council for Applied Economic Research, which is based in New Delhi and partly government financed, half of India’s 10.7 million households with an income of up to a million rupees ($23,000) are in smaller cities.
The report recorded a big rise in the number of rich households, those with incomes of 1 million rupees to 5 million rupees, in smaller cities like Vadodara, Nagpur, Ahmedabad and Vijayawada. And while in 1995 just 2.8 percent of households were counted as middle class, with income of 200,000 rupees to a million rupees, the report projected that 12.8 percent would be counted as such by 2009.
Low agricultural productivity, which implies rural poverty, has been central to India’s problems. The country has been trying to leap into the service age, but without having had an Industrial Revolution. But for the first time, its smaller cities seem to be turning a corner. Continuing…and here is the New York Times story.