ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

The NFHS Data on Women’s Landownership

Pitfalls and Prospects

The National Family Health Survey collects data on landownership by gender through a woman’s questionnaire and a household questionnaire. The WQ figures were found to be highly inflated and showing contrary regional patterns and serious inconsistencies. In contrast, the HHQ figures appear reliable but need extraction and are not published. The NFHS should extract and publish
these for analysis.

The authors appreciate the responses to their queries by Pronab Sen in 2019 and by Abhishek Singh, They also thank the anonymous referee for their comments.

There is a vast body of global evidence on the importance of women owning land for the economic and social well-being of themselves, their families, and the country’s economic growth. This is also a key target in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG-5 on gender equality. However, India has long lacked reliable country-level data on how many and which women own land,1 although there have been state-specific studies (Agarwal et al 2021; Lahoti et al 2016).

In this context, the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 (2015–16), which was the first NFHS to collect gendered data on landownership, with a sample of over 6,00,000 households, followed up by NFHS-5 (2019–21), appeared to be a good start (GoI 2017, 2021). Disappointingly though, notwithstanding the valuable data NFHS provides on a range of demographic indicators, its data on gender gaps in land owned are fraught with discrepancies.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

Pay INR 50.00

(Readers in India)

Pay $ 6.00

(Readers outside India)

Updated On : 21st Aug, 2023
Back to Top