RQ | Workforce Participation of Women

Krish Ashok and Puram Politics have been collecting data from various government sources and converting them to excel. This data contains a wealth of information on social indicators in India. You can expect the next few issues of RQ to be based on this dataset. Data is drawn from various government sources including the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MOSPI).

Today we will look at the workforce participation of women across the states of India. First, let us look at rural women. Notice that the all India average participation is close to 60%. Himachal Pradesh ranks the highest with over 83% while (perhaps surprisingly, developed states such as ) Delhi, Kerala and Punjab bring up the rear.


Next we will look at the workforce participation of urban women. Note now that the all India average drops to an abysmal 20%! While migration to urban areas is generally associated with increased standard of living, it is interesting to note that more and more women don’t work in urban areas. It is perhaps a reflection of the kind of jobs that are available in urban India.


Notice that once again, Himachal Pradesh is top and Punjab and Delhi bring up the rear. Actually there seems to be a correlation between workforce participation of rural and urban women across states. Let us explore that with a scatter plot.


Notice that there is a strong positive correlation. Interestingly, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (states associated with excellent education levels) display superior participation of urban women in the workforce relative to the participation of their rural women. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan are also found to be above the regression line. Interestingly, it is hard to draw a pattern from this data in terms of which state is more developed.