Key Aspects of India’s Population, Land and Labor

  • Raghbendra Jha


This chapter examines key aspects of India’s population, agriculture and labor markets, particularly since independence in 1947. A broad overview of trends in India’s population is provided, including religious composition, age and gender structure, total fertility rate and its association with income, and gender bias in child population. As part of an analysis of India’s demographic transition, India’s current demographic dividend is also examined. Next, the population’s excessive dependence on agriculture is analyzed, and then key aspects of India’s labor market are explored.


India’s population Age and gender structure Total fertility rate Gender bias in children Demographic dividend Dependence on agriculture Indian labor markets 


  1. Berg, E., S. Bhattacharyya, R. Durgam, and M. Ramachandra. 2012. Can Rural Public Works Affect Agricultural Wages? Evidence from India. Centre for the Study of African Economies Working Paper WPS 2012/05. Oxford University. Accessed 27 October 2015.
  2. Bhargava, A. 2015. NREGA’s Impact on Agricultural Production, Labor, and Technology Adoption: New Evidence from a Detailed Indian Household-Plot Panel. Mimeo University of Michigan. Accessed 27 October 2015.
  3. Chaudhri, D., and R. Jha. 2012. Child Poverty and Compulsory Elementary Education in India: Policy Insights from Household Data Analysis. Indian Journal of Human Development 6 (1): 5–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ———. 2013. India’s Gender Bias in Child Population, Female Education and Growing Prosperity: 1951–2011. International Review of Applied Economics 27 (1): 23–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). 2018. World Factbook. Accessed February 6, 2018.
  6. Das, S., S. Jain-Chandra, K. Kochhar, and N. Kumar. 2015. Women Workers in India: Why So Few Among So Many? IMF Working Paper WP/15/55.Google Scholar
  7. Debroy, B. 2014. India’s Labour Market: Laws, Regulations and Reforms. In Indian Economy since Independence, ed. U. Kapila, 519–544. New Delhi: Academic Foundation.Google Scholar
  8. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). 2010. Asia and Pacific Commission on Agricultural Statistics. Accessed 7 August 2015.
  9. Goldar, B., and A. Sadhukhan. 2015. Employment and Wages in Indian Manufacturing: Post Reform Performance. Working Paper No. 185. Employment and Labor Market Policies Branch. Geneva: International Labor Office.Google Scholar
  10. Gupta, N. 2012. Essays on India’s Post-Reform Industrial Performance. Unpublished PhD thesis, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  11. Hoda, A., and D. Rai. 2017. Labour Regulations in India: Rationalising the Laws Governing Wages. Working Paper no. 346. New Delhi: ICRIER, October.Google Scholar
  12. Jacoby, H., and B. Dasgupta. 2015. Changing Wage Structure in India in the Post-Reform Era. Policy Research Working Paper No. 7426. Washington, DC: The World Bank.Google Scholar
  13. Jha, P., M. Kesler, R. Kumar, F. Ram, U. Ram, L. Aleksandrowicz, D. Bassani, S. Chandra, and J. Banthia. 2011. Trends in Selective Abortion of Female Foetuses in India: Analysis of Nationally Representative Birth Histories from 1990–2005 and Census Data from 1991–2011. Lancet 377 (9781): 1921–1928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jha, R. 2014a. The Determinants of Household Level Fertility in India. Pragati: Journal of the Indian Economy 1 (1): 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. ———. 2014b. Productive Employment and Empowering Education: An Agenda for India’s Youth. Yojana, pp. 13–18, April.Google Scholar
  16. Jha, R., and M. Rhodes. 1999. Some Imperatives of the Green Revolution: Technical Efficiency and Ownership of Inputs in Indian Agriculture. Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 28 (1): 57–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Planning Commission. 2001. Report of the Task Force on Employment Opportunities. New Delhi.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 2004. India Vision 2020. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
  19. Sen, A. 1962. An Aspect of Indian Agriculture. Economic and Political Weekly, Annual Number, 2: 23–36.Google Scholar
  20. Shaw, A. 2013. Employment Trends in India: An Overview of NSSO’s 68th Round. Economic and Political Weekly 48 (42): 23–25.Google Scholar
  21. Sivasubramonian, S. 2000. The National Income of India in the 20th Century. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Venkatesh, P. 2013. Recent Trends in Rural Employment and Wages in India: Has the Growth Benefited the Agricultural Labourers? Agricultural Economics Research Review 26 (1): 13–20.Google Scholar
  23. World Economic Forum. 2015. National Strategy Day on India: Delivering Growth in the New Context. Accessed 22 August 2017.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raghbendra Jha
    • 1
  1. 1.Arndt-Corden Department of EconomicsAustralian National UniversityActonAustralia

Personalised recommendations