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Between 1999 and 2009, expenditure on food increased by about 70% among rural families and 78% among urban ones. But the spending on education jumped up by as much as 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. It is not just 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 that they were spending on education. The latest survey records a big jump in these numbers 63% of rural and 73% of urban families were getting their children educated. Expenditure on health too has shown a considerable increase though not as much as education. At current prices, spending on medical care in hospitals increased by 152% in rural areas and by 136% in urban areas. The corresponding figures after adjusting for inflation are 38% and 31%. Spending on non-institutional medical care medicines, tests, fees etc 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 possibly an effect of the National Rural Health Mission and a modest increase of 12% in urban areas.
Courtesy: Times of India
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