An average household in rural India spends more money on alcohol and tobacco than on accessing preventive healthcare.
A six-month long survey by a New Delhi-based research firm found that in rural homes, about 5% (Rs140) of monthly expenditure goes towards local alcohol and about 7% (Rs196) is spent on tobacco. Household expenditure on preventive healthcare constitutes 2%, or roughly Rs56, a month and another 7% (Rs196) is spent on medical expenses, which also includes transportation. The survey was conducted by Chrome Data Analytics and Media, which tracked 50,000 villages in 19 states.
Monthly household expenditure in rural India averages at about Rs2,800.
Medical access for rural households in India is limited as primary healthcare facilities are few and far between. Patients in the hinterland have to travel five kilometres on average to access a healthcare centre. As a result, they end up relying on homemade cures for most diseases.
After essentials such as fodder and agriculture requirements, and vegetables, households in rural India spend the most (Rs504) on buying fast moving consumer goods such as soap, oil, shampoo, creams, and detergent. Comprising over 67% of the country’s population, rural customers are an important demographic for large consumer goods companies.