According to a report by Pew Research Center based in the United States, Coronavirus pandemic has pushed around 32 million Indians out of middle-class into poverty.
Pew Research Center is a non-partisan American fact-tank which conducts research and provides information on social issues, demographic trends and public opinions shaping the United States and the world.
The Pew report stated that the middle-class Indians population have shrunk by 32 million as compared to the numbers which were before the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of middle-class Indian population was an estimate of 99 million pre-pandemic which has shrunk down a third to 66 million.
The Pew Research Centre has divided the population of a country into five groups: Poor, who live on $2 or less daily, Low Income who live on $2.01-$10, Middle Income on $10.01-$20, upper-middle income who earns $20.01-$50 daily and High Income who live on more $50 daily.
The report further added that both India and China with about 1.4 billion people each, account for more than a third of the global population. Therefore, the course of pandemic on both countries and how each recovers will have a considerable effect on the changes in the distribution of income at the global level.
This coronavirus pandemic led to massive job losses and India dived into its deepest recession in more than 40 years. Meanwhile, China was able to resist a contraction. According to the data released in World Economic Update in January, the International Monetary Fund estimated the India’s economy to shrink by 8% in FY21 while China’s to expand by 2.3% in 2020.
The Pew report also added that the poverty in India is likely to rose by 9.7% in 2021 i.e 134 million more than double the 59 million which was expected before the recession.
Also, in a report by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference On Trade And Development) stated that some of the worst personal income drops related to GDP has been experienced by some developing countries and the government will do its best to make an uneven K-shaped recovery within and across countries.
The UNCTAD’s report further added that, the impact or even a small decline in economic activity can be devastating for the countries where the poverty levels are already on a rise. Where the World Bank estimated that a quarter of a billion more people will slide into poverty, earning $3.20 daily, as a result of the pandemic.