NFHS-4 wealth index released


A wealth index of India was released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare based on the data from the fourth round of National Family and Health Survey (NFHS-4). The NFHS-4 was conducted among more than 6 lakh households in 2015-16. According to this index, Delhi is richest state and Jain wealthiest community in the country.

As part of NFHS-4, the wealth index is prepared based on scores on ownership of consumer goods like television and bicycles, household items, basic items for necessity and household characteristics such as availability of clean drinking water. This information is then used to classify all households into five wealth quintiles. The report then used these quintile scores to classify population for states, caste and religious groups and rural-urban areas into each quintile.

  • The two major outcomes of the survey were wealth index and poverty levels in India.
  • According to the wealth index, the richest states in India were Delhi followed by Punjab and Goa. They had more than 60% of their households in the top wealth quintiles. 
  • Bihar came out to be the poorest state in India with more than half of the households in the bottom wealth quintile.
  • Jains were declared the wealthiest community in India whereas Sikkim stood second in that area.
  • Hindus and Muslims had similar wealth distribution across all quintiles.
  • The upper castes have a much larger share of the population in top wealth quintile. Scheduled tribes are the poorest with 45.9% of their population in the lowest quintile.

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) is a large-scale, multi-round survey conducted in a representative sample of households throughout India.The first survey was conducted in 1992-93 and since then three rounds of the survey have been conducted.