Published On: Sun, Sep 6th, 2015

Highlights of India’s Latest Social Economic and Caste Census

Social Economic and Caste Census


The new Social Economic and Caste Census was released on 2 July 2015. However, despite the name, the census does not include caste. The SECC 2011, a paperless exercise, was done using over 6.4 lakh electronic handheld device. It provides useful data on households, reflecting various aspects of their socio-economic status—housing, landholding/landlessness, educational status, status of women, differently abled, occupation, possession of assets, SC/ST households, incomes, among others. The government said the data was crucial since it would help in evidence-based planning for rural development and poverty reduction.

The census provided for automatic exclusion on the basis of 14 parameters, and inclusion on the basis of five parameters. Of the rural households, 7.05 crore or 39.39 per cent were excluded, while 16.50 lakh or 0.92 per cent were included.

The excluded families may not be beneficiaries of various Government programmes or may not be given full benefits while those included may be given top priority in welfare schemes.

According to the data, there are 24.39 crore households in the country, of which 17.91 crore are in the rural areas. Of this 4.58 per cent pay income-tax. Among the Scheduled Caste Households (18.46 per cent of the total number), the tax paying percentage is 3.49 per cent, while for the Scheduled Caste Category (10.97 per cent of total number), the tax paying population is 3.34 per cent.

The data said 10.69 crore households were considered for deprivation, while 2 crore did not report deprivation. Talking about the source of income, the data said 5.39 crore depended upon cultivation, while casual labour numbered 9.16 crore. A total of 44.84 lakh households were engaged in part-time or full-time domestic service, while 2.5 crore had income from government services, private services, and PSU employment.



  • In 75% of 17.9 crore rural households, the monthly income of the highest-earning member is less than ₹5,000
  • 8.29 % households have a member earning over ₹10,000 per month
  • 23.52% families have no literate adult above the age of 25
  • 10.69 crore qualify for deprived households
  • 21.5% of these 100 million deprived households belong to SC/ST
  • 25% households don’t own a phone
  • 40% are landless and work as manual casual labourers
  • 25% have no access to irrigation
  • 1.80 lakh people still do manual scavenging
  • 4.6% pay their income tax
  • 41.64% people have never married and are living single
  • Cultivation and manual labour are the main sources of income for the rural population. While 30% draw their income from cultivation, over 51% are manual casual labourers
  • Punjab has the highest percentage of SC households in the country at 36.74 per cent
  • In terms of ownership of assets, as many as 94 per cent households own a house. This includes one-room kuccha houses
  • One in four households does not have a literate adult above the age of 25 years

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