The Need for Real Time and Granular Data to Study the Urban Economy

Shriya Anand, Viola Lewis, Herry Gulabani  | 2022

Key Insights:

  • The Government of India is pursuing an economic growth agenda that is driven by cities, signalling a shift from its earlier policy priorities that focused on rural areas.
  • While India has historically built a robust statistical system consisting of regular Censuses as well as sample surveys, there have been disruptions to this over the past decade (Bhattacharya, 2022).
  • Further, there are gaps in the ways by which data is released, the frequency of data collection, and the level of spatial granularity available to policymakers, planners, and researchers.
  • Issues in the quality of datasets hinder the ability of central, state and city governments to more effectively make economic and urban plans, as well as prioritise areas for infrastructure investments.
  • Datasets, such as the Economic Census, offer some potential in this direction; however, there are still gaps that would need to be addressed to utilise this.