Geographies in Depth

India’s economy in numbers

Workers are seen at their workstations on the floor of  an outsourcing centre in Bangalore, February 29, 2012. Picture taken on February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT) - RTR30CVC

1% ... the percentage of the population who paid tax on their earnings in 2013 Image: REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

Rosamond Hutt
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India is the world’s fastest-growing large economy, having outpaced China over the past year.

Yet though economic growth has improved living standards, India, which has the largest number of poor in the world, is still struggling to lift its 1.2 billion population out of poverty.

Here are some facts and figures about India’s economic rise, and the challenges ahead.


The IMF predicts a robust growth rate of 7.6% for India’s economy in 2016 and 2017.

"India has benefited from lower oil prices and remains the fastest-growing large economy in the world," the IMF said.

However, the reliability of India’s GDP numbers has been questioned, and concerns remain about jobs, which have not kept pace with economic growth.

Image: WSJ

India now ranks 39th among the world’s most competitive economies, up 16 places from last year – the biggest leap for any country in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017.

Image: World Economic Forum
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$108 billion

India is now the second fastest growing services economy in the world, up 10% in the past year, according to a report by the industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and KPMG.

Information technology alone accounted for $108 billion worth of services exports in 2014-15, primarily to the United States and Europe.

Image: World Economic Forum
Up to 70%

Up to 70% of Indians live in rural areas, 58% of whom depend on agriculture as their primary source of income.

Farmers walk through a paddy field towards a sugarcane field at Moynaguri village, about 66 km (41 miles) north of the eastern Indian city of Siliguri, August 19, 2009.
Image: REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri

Only about 12.5 million Indians – roughly 1% of the population – paid tax on their earnings in 2013. The figure emerged after the Indian government published income tax data for the first time since 2000.

Image: Quartz
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Related topics:
Geographies in DepthEconomic Growth
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