Family Day: How Indian families earn and spend their money

  • Vignesh Radhakrishnan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 16, 2015 01:30 IST

Indian women contribute less than men to the overall income of a family because of reasons such as childbirth, childcare, cooking and other activities related to running a household.

The labour participation rate – the proportion of the population of the age of 15 and above that is economically active – gives an idea of how men are involved more in money-making when compared to women in Indian families.

According to a UN report, the labour participation rate in India in 2013 was 80% for men and 27% for women. This means that out of every 10 Indian men, 8 were economically active while the figure for women was less than 3.

Further, according to a recent National Sample Survey report, out of every 1,000 women in rural India, 347 attended to domestic duties while the rest were involved in economic activities. In the case of urban women, this figure was 465 per 1,000.

According to the Progress of the World’s Women 2015-2016 report by UN Women, women do close to six hours of unpaid care and housework every day as compared to half an hour for men.

Strikingly, most of the data agencies around the world consider a maid's household work as an economic activity under the “service” segment, while a homemaker's household work is considered under the “unemployed” segment.

Thus, men in Indian families earn more money than women, who are compelled into household chores because of family commitments.

Wage gap

What is even worse is that women's money generation potential is further reduced as their salaries were significantly lower than those of their male counterparts.

According to the Wage Indicator Foundation, women earned 44.8% less than men during and before 2007. However, since 2008, the gap has been constantly decreasing.

But the gap continued to be at a high rate of 24.81% in 2013.

Thus, even while women try to better their monetary contributions to the family, their potential is reduced due to uneven wage structures.

What India earns

The table below shows the average monthly salaries of 72 countries in purchasing power parity (PPP) in US dollars. PPP is a technique used to determine the relative value of different currencies. The data is sourced from the International Labour Organization (ILO), a UN agency.

* All figures are adjusted to reflect variations in the cost of living from one country to another.

According to the data, a world citizen's monthly average wage is $1,480 while an Indian citizen's monthly average wage is $295.

How India spends

Till now we saw who and how much an Indian family earns, let us take a look at how an Indian family spends the money it earned.

The following graphic shows the split of what an average Indian family spends its money on. The information is sourced from a Forbes magazine report.

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