Data released by the Income Tax Department last week had some points of headline news, but hidden in the pdfs were stats that, when analysed, show the growth roar of the Indian middle class. The headline numbers map the rise in income tax returns which have more than doubled starting financial year 2011-12 and ending 2020-21. They also map the rise of the super-rich, with 589 taxpayers filing a return with a gross total income of more than ₹500 crore. However, an analysis of returns data of salary income earners shows a trend of over 20% average annual growth of those earning between ₹5.5 and 25 lakh a year over a nine-year period. This is an over five-fold rise in the salaries of this cohort.