One of the recent data sets in is the number of driving licenses issued in different states of India until March 2012. Based on that, it is interesting to see which states have more drivers. The first chart here shows the proportion of population of each state that has a driving license (states for which data is unavailable have been left out). Note that this proportion is an overestimate since the number of licenses given includes people who have subsequently died, and thus not been counted in the state’s population as of 2011. Nevertheless, as a relative measure, this is useful:


Notice that the highest numbers are in Goa, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, all of them among the more prosperous states. States at the bottom include Assam, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir. The latter two are extremely hilly, thus discouraging driving. Nevertheless it would be an interesting correlation between proportion of drivers in a state and its per capita GSDP. Which is what we do next:


We see that apart from Delhi (where presumably a large portion of the population gets its licenses from other states?) and Sikkim (a hilly area where not too many are expected to drive), there is a strong correlation between the proportion of drivers and the per capita GSDP!

Finally, what proportion of drivers in each state are women? The following graph shows that:


Manipur, where over 30% of licenses have been handed out to women, stands way ahead of other states. The other state that stands out is Andhra Pradesh, where a measly 1.5% of driving licenses belong to women. Contrast this with neighbouring states such as Odisha (12%), Karnataka (15%) and Tamil Nadu (8%)!

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.