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Only 35.5% of households in India maintain bank accounts

Of a total of 191,963,935 households in the country, only 68,230,642 households (35.5%) avail of banking services, according to the Census data. Of the 35 states and union territories covered, only eight reported that banking services were available to more than half its households.

Interestingly, Tamil Nadu is ranked 30th, just above Bihar. Thus, while the state of Bihar has a penetration level of 21.3 %, Tamil Nadu, has a mere 22.8% of its population availing of banking services.

Even relatively prosperous states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka have less than half their total households operating a bank account. With Goa, Chandigarh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands being the top three in terms of penetration of banking facilities, it is the union territories and the smaller states which show good results.

Interestingly, Delhi with only 51% of the population having access to banking facilities ranks below Uttaranchal, which has a penetration of nearly 60%.Among the Northern states, Himachal Pradesh, with 59.5% of its population availing of banking services has the best penetration levels, followed by Punjab, Haryana and UP.

In the North-East, the data throws up some interesting conclusions regarding the ranking among the seven-sisters with Mizoram ranked at 19 and Assam, at 33. While Meghalaya, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur are all at the bottom of the table, Sikkim, ranked 24th and Tripura, ranked 27th, do better than Tamil Nadu and Orissa.

Census data, thus shows that there is huge potential that India still offers to banks in India.

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