As veteran politicians and newly-minted scions promise Bihar free coronavirus vaccines, jobs, loan waivers, development and progress, a look at the data shows that the state still has the lowest per capita income in the country.
Though the state has registered a steady growth rate over the past decade, it still falls 33.1% short of the national average per capita income at constant price which was at Rs 92,565 for the year ending 2019.
Bihar’s per capita net state domestic product (NSDP) was Rs 30,617 for the year 2018-2019 compared to the country’s NDP which was Rs 92,565 in the same time period.
Within the state, there is socio-economic disparity across the districts. According to the latest date provided by the Bihar Economic Survey, in 2011-12 (the latest data available), Patna, Munger and Begusarai were the most prosperous in terms of highest gross domestic product whereas, Madhepur, Supaul and Sheohar stood at the bottom.
However, the growth rate of Bihar’s economy in 2018-19 was 10.53 per cent (at constant prices) and 15.01 per cent (at current prices), higher than India's overall economic growth rate.
The biggest contributor to the growth registered in the state was the tertiary sector (real estate, trade, ownership of dwelling and professional services), which grew at 13.1 and 13.3 per cent in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Agriculture and allied activities on which a majority of Bihar’s population is dependent fell to 0.63 per cent in the year ending 2019. Growth rate in the agricultural came down to -3.87 per cent in 2018-19 from 4.88 percent in 2017-18.