Amid calls for a caste census, it can be seen that 44.4% of the country’s 17.24 million rural households belong to other backward classes (OBCs) and that OBC households are in the majority in rural areas of seven. States – Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh – which together send 235 members of Lok Sabha to parliament.
The data is part of the Assessment of the Situation of Farm Households and Household Land Properties in Rural India, 2019, a survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics of the Ministry of Program Implementation and Statistics, including results were published earlier this month. Data is for crop year 2018-19 – crop year in India is from July to June of the following year.
The data show that out of about 17.24 crore rural households, 44.4% were CBOs; 21.6% Listed castes (CS); 12.3% of the listed tribes (TS) and 21.7% of other social groups. Of the total rural households, 9.3 crore or 54% are farm households.
The highest proportion of rural CBO households is found in Tamil Nadu (67.7%) and the lowest in Nagaland (0.2%). Apart from Tamil Nadu, in six states – Bihar (58.1%), Telangana (57.4%), Uttar Pradesh (56.3%), Kerala (55.2%), Karnataka (51.6%), Chhattisgarh (51.4%) – OBC households represent more than half of rural households. These states are politically crucial as they have 235 members in the Lok Sabha which has 543 members.
In addition, four states – Rajasthan (46.8%), Andhra Pradesh (45.8%), Gujarat (45.4%) and Sikkim (45%) – have a higher share of rural households OBC as the whole of India figure of 44.4%. In total, 17 states – Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Haryana, Assam, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal, Tripura, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland – have a larger share low of rural CBO households compared to the national average.
The results of the survey show that of the estimated 9.3 million agricultural households, 45.8% are CBOs; 15.9% CS; 14.2% from ST and 24.1% from other social groups.
The survey also provides data on the average monthly income (based on the “expenditure paid” approach) per farm household. While the average monthly income of a farm household across India was Rs 10,218 in the 2018-19 farm year, it was lower for OBC farm households (Rs 9,977), SC households (Rs 8,142), ST households (Rs 8,979). Farm households from “other social groups”, however, recorded an average monthly income of Rs 12,806.
For the states, the average monthly income per farm household in the OBC category ranged between Rs 5,009 and Rs 22,384 in the 2018-19 farm year. Of the 23 states for which income data is available, Uttarakhand recorded the highest average monthly income per OBC farm household, while Odisha (Rs 5,009) was at the bottom of the scale.