Data released by Credit Suisse with its Global Wealth Report 2017 shows that Pakistan is the most egalitarian nation in South Asia. It also confirms that the median wealth of Pakistani households is three times higher than that of households in India.
Inequality is measured in terms of Gini index. It ranges from 0% for perfect equality (when everyone has the same wealth) to 100% for total inequality (when all of the wealth is owned by one person). On this scale, Pakistan’s Gini index is 52.6%, Bangladesh’s 57.9%, Sri Lanka’s 66.5%, Nepal’s 67.3%, China’s 78.9% and India's 83%.
Here is per capita wealth data for India and Pakistan as of mid-2017, according to Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2017 released recently.
Pakistan average wealth per adult: $5,174 vs India $5,976
Pakistan median wealth per adult: $3,338 vs India $1,295
Average household wealth in Pakistan is $15,522 (3 adults) vs India $14,940 (2.5 adults)
Median household wealth in Pakistan is $10,014 (3 adults) vs India $3,237 (2.5 adults)
Pakistan Gini Index 52.6% vs India 83%
Ownership of Appliances and Vehicles:
Growing household wealth in developing nations like India and Pakistan is reflected in ownership of consumer durables like computers, home appliances and vehicles. This data is sourced from periodic household surveys like NSS (National Sampling Survey) in India and PSLM (Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement) in Pakistan.
Dr. Jawaid Abdul Ghani, a professor at Karachi School of Business Leadership, has recently analyzed household surveys in India and Pakistan to discover the following:
1. As of 2015, car ownership in both India and Pakistan is about the same at 6% of households owning a car. However, 41% of Pakistani household own motorcycles, several points higher than India's 32%.
2. 12% of Pakistani households own a computer, slightly higher than 11% in India.
3. Higher percentage of Pakistani households own appliances such as refrigerators (Pakistan 47%, India 33%), washing machines (Pakistan 48%, India 15%) and fans (Pakistan 91%, India 83%).
4. 71% of Indian households own televisions versus 62% in Pakistan.
Growth over Time:
Dr. Abdul Ghani has also analyzed household data to show that the percentage of Pakistani households owning washing machines has doubled while car and refrigerator ownership has tripled and motorcycle ownership jumped 6-fold from 2001 to 2014.
Income/Consumption Growth in Pakistan. Source: KSBL
Rapid Income Growth:
Rising ownership of durables in Pakistan has been driven by significant reduction in poverty and growth of household incomes, according to Dr. Abdul Ghani's research. Percentage of households with per capita income of under $2 per day per person has plummeted from 57% in 2001 to 7% in 2014. At the same time, the percentage of households earning $2 to $10 per day per person has soared from 42% of households in 2001 to 87% of households in 2014. The percentage of those earning over $10 per day per person has jumped 7-fold from 1% of households in 2001 to 7% of households in 2014.
Credit Suisse wealth data for 2017 shows that Pakistan has the lowest wealth inequality in its region as measured by Gini index. Lower inequality can be seen in terms of rising percentage of households that can afford to buy durables like appliances and vehicles as reported by Dr. Abdul Ghani of Karachi School of Business and Leadership (KSBL).