The objective of this paper is to look at various religious groups across India and observe the level of development that each group has reached. The intention is to compare and contrast the differences in the level and nature of development, across different religious groups. Subsequently, an attempt is made to explain why these differences exist and what are the possible factors that might be influencing group-specific levels of well-being. An attempt is also made to look at how religion might be instrumental, if at all, in deciding the well-being of people or, as economists would like to say, the standard of living. To measure the wellbeing, a set of few economic, social and health variables have been chosen as indicators and the corresponding data has been compared across religions.
The paper begins with an observation and comparison of group demographics and composition, such as aggregate population, male-female ratio, rural-urban break-up, literacy level, etc., and follows by examining the economic characteristic of groups, such as poverty level, employment rate, workforce participation rate and land ownership patterns amongst others. Finally, the health status of women and children across religious groups based on a wide range of health indicators is presented.
Religions and Development, India. Working Paper Series, Volume 2, Number 1, 55 pp.