Pattern of Regional Disparities in Socio-Economic Development in India: District Level Analysis

Social Indicators Research, 2013

33 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2015

Date Written: December 30, 2015


The study assesses the pattern of disparities in socio-economic development at the district level in India applying the Wroclow Taxonomic technique (following Ewusi. Social Indicators Research 3(1) 75–110, 1976, and Arief. Social Indicators Research 11(3) 259–267, 1982) based upon optimal combination of selected socio-economic development indicators. In order to get a clear picture of regional socio-economic disparities in India, the level of development is assessed separately for agriculture, industrial and infrastructural sectors and the districts are classified into four development categories according to the values of the constructed development index. For bringing about uniform regional development and improving the quality-of-life, model districts for disadvantaged districts have been identified and potential targets for various social amenities have been estimated.

An attempt has also been made to compare the levels of socio-economic development among various regions in India. The constructed socio-economic development index shows that India’s Southern region is far more and symmetrically developed in comparison of Central and Northern regions. The results show that wide disparities in the level of socioeconomic development exist among different districts within and between different regions of India. The level of development in infrastructural service sector is found to be positively and statistically significantly associated with the overall socio-economic development indicating that the growth and progress of the sectors have been going hand in hand in the country. The results show that in Northern and Central regions of India the level of industrial development does not significantly influence the agricultural and overall socio-economic development while agricultural development influences overall socio-economic development. The study suggests that low developed districts require improvement in most of the indicators for enhancing their levels of overall socio-economic development.

Keywords: Regional socio-economic disparities, Developmental indicators, Model district, Potential targets, India

JEL Classification: R11, R12

Suggested Citation

Ohlan, Ramphul, Pattern of Regional Disparities in Socio-Economic Development in India: District Level Analysis (December 30, 2015). Social Indicators Research, 2013, Available at SSRN:

Ramphul Ohlan (Contact Author)

Maharshi Dayanand University ( email )

Rohtak, Haryana 124001

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