Source- Economic Times

Using data from various sources including Census 2011, geographic information system (GIS) data, satellite imagery and a host of analytical techniques using small area statistics and neural networks, Indicus has been able to decipher how affluence can be measured at the level of the pin code.

Affluence here is defined as a large proportion of households with incomes above Rs 10 lakh, typically areas that have the highest proportion of households above such a threshold also have very high per capita incomes. However, unlike in western countries, low- and high-income households exist side by side. Hence there are many areas where mansions and slums co-exist. 

Each draw from each other service providers to the affluent are able to commute to their place of work easily while the affluent are able to obtain a larger set of services than are typically available to the affluent in developed countries. 

While this may be an advantage for both, this creates a measurement problem. When rich and not so rich households exist in close proximity to each other, their incomes get averaged out. Moreover, since poor households tend to be more concentrated within an area (the affluent prefer greater living space in terms of square foot per person), they tend to outweigh the impact of affluence. 

Despite this, it is fairly clear our notions of affluence in Indian cities are not unfounded pin codes in south Delhi and south Mumbai reflect among the highest affluence levels in the country. In most metros, we find that the central part of cities, generally marked by better road infrastructure, better urban planning and proximity to business centres and government are among the most affluent. Only those areas with a minimum of 1,000 households in the pin code were included. For example, affluent areas such as those around the governor's house and near the secretariat in Mumbai or Huskur in Bangalore are not included.