- About Us
- Child Rights
- Our Work
- Contact Us
Indian families are investing heavily in their children’s education and spending more on healthcare at the expense of basic needs like food, reveals a NSSO survey on spending patterns of households.
Between 1999 and 2009, expenditure on food increased by 70% among rural families and 78% among urban ones. But the spending on education jumped up by 378% in rural areas and 345% in urban areas. Even after correcting for inflation, the expenditure on education increased by a phenomenal 162% in rural areas and 148% in urban areas during the decade. Compare this to the overall household expenditure on all items, which increased by a mere 8% in rural areas and 20% in urban areas after adjusting for inflation.
And, it is not the same people who are spending more on their children’s education. In 2004-05, when the previous such survey was carried out, 40% of rural and 57% of urban families said they were spending on education. The new survey records a big jump in these numbers—63% of rural and 73% of urban families were getting their kids educated.
Expenditure on health, too, has shown a considerable hike though not as much as education. At current prices, spending on medical care in hospitals went up by 152% in rural areas and by 136% in urban areas. The corresponding figures after adjusting for inflation are 38% and 31%. Spending on noninstitutional medical care-—medicines, tests, fees—jumped up by 60% in rural areas and 102% in urban areas. After adjusting for inflation, this works out to a decline of about 12% in rural areas and a modest increase of 12% in urban areas.
As in the case of education, the increase in the proportion of families accessing institutional facilities is remarkable. From a minute 1.3% of rural and 1.5% of urban families getting institutional care in 2004-05, the proportions have risen 10-fold to 13% in rural and 14% in urban areas. The proportion of families reporting non-institutional spending remains at two-thirds of the total.
The NSSO survey, carried out between July 2009 and June 2010 covered 2,01,649 households.