Kerala tops in the Financial Inclusion Index - says a working paper from RBI

Date: 17 August, 2011

According to a working paper from the Reserve Bank of India, in the group of 23 states for which a 3-dimensional Index of Financial Inclusion (IFI) has been estimated by using data on 3 dimensions of financial inclusion, Kerala leads with the highest value of IFI followed by Maharashtra and Karnataka. Three dimensions of the IFI are banking penetration, availability of banking services and usage.

Only three states, viz., Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka belong to the high IFI group with IFI values of 0.5 or more. Another six states, viz., Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Haryana form the group of medium IFI states with IFI values between 0.3 and 0.5. In fact, all-India average IFI also falls under this category. All other states have a low IFI values, ranging between 0.0 and 0.3. It is interesting to note that all the southern states are at the high or medium level of financial inclusion and except Sikkim all the eastern, north-eastern and central states are in the low level of financial inclusion.

On the other hand, West Bengal and Gujarat rank 11th and 12th, respectively in financial inclusion. Further, out of 7 North-Eastern States, three states belong to the lowest rank of financial inclusion.