Ownership holdings of land in rural India: Putting the record straight

In the past, research on land distribution in rural India has pointed out that the surveys by the National Sample Survey Organisation have yielded underestimates of the extent of land inequality and landlessness. In a fresh analysis, this paper, using household level data from the 48th and 59th rounds (1992 and 2003-04) of the NSSO, finds that (within the limitations of the data) more than 40 per cent of households in rural India do not own land, as much as 15 million acres is in ownership holdings of more than 20 acres, and inequality in ownership has worsened between 1992 and 2003-04.