Cellphones outnumber landlines in rural India, finds census

Sixty-eight per cent of rural households own a mobile phone, according to the Census. File photo  

Nearly 28 per cent of rural households in India still do not have access to a phone, whether landline or mobile, finds the Socio Economic and Caste Census, 2011. Only 11 per cent of these households have a refrigerator.

The census, released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh here on Friday, finds that the number of mobile-phone connections far exceeds that of landlines in rural India. Sixty-eight per cent of households own only a mobile phone, one per cent own only a landline phone, and 2.7 per cent own both.

The census provides an insight into transport facilities in villages, showing that only 20.6 per cent of households own “motorised two/three/four-wheelers or motorised fishing boats requiring registration”.

Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh perform abysmally when it comes to rural consumption of items measured in the census. A whopping 71 per cent of Chhattisgarh’s rural population, for example, does not have a phone. This number is 65.3 per cent for Odisha and 51.9 per cent for Madhya Pradesh. The proportion of these States’ rural populations with a refrigerator is very low — only around a third of the national average.

The highest-paid members in an overwhelming 90.8 per cent of rural households in Chhattisgarh earn less than Rs. 5,000 a month, which may explain the low consumption. This proportion is 87.8 per cent in Odisha and 83.5 per cent in Madhya Pradesh, against the national average of 74.5%.

The census found that only 3.62 per cent of rural households across the country have a Kisan Credit Card with a credit limit of Rs. 50,000 or more.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 6:29:13 PM |

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