The ‘affluent’ readers of The Times of India

Are The Times of India’s readers largely from the middle class? No, says The Times of India, “if at all a word has to be used to describe TOI readers, it should be "affluent".”

“In a recent article, a columnist wrote: "The Times of India has, over the past few years, become a good read ... perhaps, driven by the realization that Page 1 of the country's most-read English newspaper needs to reflect the sentiments of the English-speaking middle class..."


While we're grateful to the writer for his praise, we do have to wonder about the accuracy of his phrase. There is an imputation that TOI's readership is largely from the middle class. Indeed, even many TOI readers may believe this to be true. But is it really?”, the ToI opinion piece   says.

The article goes on to demonstrate, mathematically, that “TOI readers are not only just 0.6% of India's overall population, they also constitute barely 1.8% of its middle class.”

“They (ToI readers) are decision makers, influencers, movers and shakers. Which is why it's unfair to collectively club them under the omnibus term "middle class".”

The Times of India writer slices and dices the social classes by income and purchasing power – which is where he trips up. The definition of the classes is rooted in values and behaviour. You might be affluent, but live life practicing ‘middle class’ values – as much as someone in the ToI definition of the middle class could behave like the affluent.

This is one way in which the classes could be described from their value systems and behaviour:


You can read more about how classes are differentiated here.

Mathematically, most readers would be in ToI’s definition of affluent. Look at the table above, all you ‘affluent’ readers of The Times of India, and figure out where you would rather be.

Updated Date: Feb 02, 2012 17:05 PM

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