India has seen rapid growth in wealth measured in domestic terms since the year 2000. In rupees, wealth per adult has grown quite steadily, averaging an 8% annual increase over 2000-2014. Until the global financial crisis, wealth also rose strongly in US dollar terms, from USD 2,040 in 2000 to USD 5,100 in 2007. After falling 25% in 2008, it rebounded, reaching USD 5,400 in 2010, but then fell 13% in 2011 due to adverse exchange rate movements. Depreciation of the rupee has continued since, at a slower rate, so that wealth per adult has not regained its previous peak and was just USD 4,650 in mid-2014.
As is common in the developing world, household wealth in India is heavily skewed towards property and other real assets, which make up 86% of estimated household assets. Personal debts are estimated to be only USD 315, even when adjustments are made for the significant underreporting that is believed to affect the household survey used to estimate personal debts in India.
While wealth has been rising strongly in India, and the ranks of the middle class and wealthy have been swelling, not everyone has shared in this growth and there is still a great deal of poverty. This is reflected in the fact that 95% of the adult population has wealth below USD 10,000.
At the other end of the scale, a very small proportion of the population (just 0.3%) has a net worth over USD 100,000. However, due to India’s large population, this translates into 2.4 million people. India has 238,000 members of the top 1% of global wealth holders, which equates to a 0.5% share. We estimate that 1,000 adults have wealth over USD 50 million and 650 people own more than USD 100 million.