The Standard of Living in India varies from state to state. In 2019, the poverty line reduced further to about 2.7% and India no longer holds the position of the nation with the largest population under poverty. The Indian middle class constitutes 600 million of the population.
There is significant income inequality within India, as it is simultaneously home to the some of the world’s richest people. The average wages are estimated to quadruple between 2013 and 2030.
The standard of living in India shows large geographical disparity as well. For example, on one hand most metropolitan cities boast world-class medical establishments, luxurious hotels, sports facilities and leisure activities similar to that of first world developed nations, while there is widespread poverty in rural areas of India, where medical care tends to be very basic or unavailable. Similarly, the very latest machinery may be used in most construction projects, but some construction workers work without mechanization in some projects. However, a rural middle class is now emerging in India, with some rural areas seeing increasing prosperity.
24.3% of the population earned less than US$1 (PPP, around US$0.25 in nominal terms) a day in 2005, down from 42.1% in 1981. 41.6% of its population (540 million people approx.) is living below the new international poverty line of $1.25 (PPP) per day, down from 59.8% in 1981. India, in 2019 has about 2.7% population under poverty level and is no longer holding the largest population under poverty level, considering Nigeria and Congo. On the other hand, the Planning Commission of India uses its own criteria and has estimated that 27.5% of the population was living below the poverty line in 2004–2005, down from 51.3% in 1977–1978, and 36% in 1993–1994. The source for this was the 61st round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the criterion used was monthly per capita consumption expenditure below ₹ 356.35 for rural areas and ₹ 538.60 for urban areas. 75% of the poor are in rural areas, most of them are daily wagers, self-employed householders and landless labourers.
Although The Indian economy has grown steadily over the last two decades, its growth has been uneven when comparing different social groups, economic groups, geographic regions, and rural and urban areas. For the year 2015–16, the GSDP growth rates of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh was higher than Maharashtra, Odisha or Punjab.
Since the early 1950s, successive governments have implemented various schemes, under planning, to alleviate poverty, that have met with partial success. Programmes like Food for work and National Rural Employment Programme have attempted to use the unemployed to generate productive assets and build rural infrastructure. In August 2005, the Indian parliament passed the Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, the largest programme of this type, in terms of cost and coverage, which promises 100 days of minimum wage employment to every rural household in 200 of India’s 600 districts. The Indian government is planning to bring in more economic reforms which can help farmers and unskilled labourers transition into industrialised sectors.