COVID Pushed 32 Million Indians Out of Middle Class: Pew Research

The report also stated that the pandemic pushed millions into poverty due to loss of jobs.

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COVID-19
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As per a recent report, financial issues caused due to the coronavirus pandemic have pushed about 32 million Indians out of the middle class bracket along with pushing millions into poverty due to loss of jobs, reported Reuters.

Pew Research Centre, a US-based organisation, stated that the number of middle class Indians who were earning between $10 and $20 (Rs 700- Rs 1,400) a day shrunk by about 32 million when compared with the number that could have been reached in the absence of a pandemic.

The number has been pushed down to a third from a pre-pandemic estimate of 99 million, shrinking to 66 million.

Citing the World Bank's forecast of economic growth, the Pew Research Centre said that India is estimated to have seen a greater decrease in the middle class and a much sharper rise in poverty as compared to China in the COVID-19 scenario.

The report further added that nearly 57 million people had joined the middle income group between 2011 and 2019.

As per the World Bank’s 2020 forecast, almost the same level of economic growth was assessed for India at 5.8 percent and China at 5.9 percent.

As per Reuters, the World Bank revised its forecast this January after a year into the pandemic to a contraction of 9.6 percent for India and 2 percent for China.

After a decline in COVID-19 cases until early this year, India now faces a second wave of infections.

After the recession brought on by the virus, the number of poor people, with incomes of $2 or less each day (around Rs145), has gone up by 75 million as per the Pew Research Centre’s report.

The report also added that the fall in living standards in China was modest as numbers in the middle-income category only decreased by around 10 million, while poverty levels remained unchanged.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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