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Indian middle class shrinks by 32 million due to Covid-
19 pandemic: Pew
Report shows the size of global middle class fell for the first time since 1990s
Financial woes brought by last year's coronavirus pandemic have pushed about 32 million Indians out of the
middle class, undoing years of economic gains, a report showed on Thursday, while job losses pushed millions
The number of Indians in the middle class, or those earning between $10 and $20 a day, shrunk by about 32
million, compared with the number that could have been reached in the absence of a pandemic, the US-based
Pew Research Centre said.
A year into the pandemic, the numbers of those in the middle class has shrunk to 66 million, down a third from a
pre-pandemic estimate of 99 million, it added.
“India is estimated to have seen a greater decrease in the middle class and a much sharper rise in poverty than
China in the Covid-19 downturn,” the Pew Research Centre said, citing the World Bank's forecasts of economic
growth. Nearly 57 million people had joined the middle-income group between 2011 and 2019, it added.
In January last year, the World Bank forecast almost the same level of economic growth for India and China, at 5.8
per cent and 5.9 per cent respectively, in 2020.
But nearly a year into the pandemic, the World Bank revised its forecast this January, to a contraction of 9.6 per
cent for India and growth of 2 per cent for China.
India faces a second wave of infections in some industrial states, after a decline in cases until early this year, and
its tally of 11.47 million is the highest after the United States and Brazil.