About 50 million, or 28 per cent, households in rural India are without either a mobile phone or a landline phone, according to the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011.
Considering an average household to consist of five members, this translates into 250 million people.
The census, released on Friday, sheds light on the wide gulf between the number of mobile phone and landline phone owners.
It says around 70 per cent of rural India households own at least one mobile phone each, while a mere one per cent own a landline phone. Interestingly, landline phones, which were until recently considered a luxury in India, are fewer in number than even cars.
The report says 2.46 per cent of households in rural India - 4.4 million - own a four-wheel vehicle. In comparison, a mere one per cent of households in India - 1.78 million - own a landline phone.
While the census doesn't have a column on the number of households with a broadband connection, the low number of households with a landline connection suggests that very few rural households are using broadband-based internet services.
The census figures reveal the scope for expansion among India for telephone companies. It also shows variations with the country.
Among the states, Odisha (33.56 per cent) has the least number of households with a mobile phone, while Uttar Pradesh (86.63 per cent) has the most.