- 74% of Indians are optimistic about the prospects for India's economy
- 80-85% of Indians see shortages of energy, food and water as big threats to their country's security, while 94% consider Pakistan a threat, and 83% consider China a threat
- 95% of Indians support the democratic rights of fair trial, free expression and the right to vote
- 96% of Indians think corruption is holding India back
The India Poll 2013 reports the results of a nationally representative opinion survey of 1233 Indian adults conducted face-to-face between 30 August and 15 October 2012. It is a collaboration between the Lowy Institute and the Australia India Institute, with additional support from the MacArthur Foundation.
Hopes and fears
Most Indians (74%) are optimistic about prospects for their economy. But Indians are divided about whether the fruits of rapid growth are being justly distributed: while a small majority (56%) of Indians see themselves as economically better off than five years ago, about 18% feel worse off and 27% do not think their economic situation has changed.
Most Indians see major problems looming. Shortages of energy, water and food, along with climate change, register as the most important challenges, with 80-85% of Indians rating these issues as ‘big threats’ to their country’s security. Other issues rated as big threats by large majorities of Indians include possible war with Pakistan (77%), home-grown terrorism (74%), foreign jihadist attacks (74%), possible war with China (73%) and a continuing Maoist insurgency (71%).
Feelings towards other countries
Indians like the United States most and Pakistan least. Asked to rate their feelings towards 22 other countries on a scale of 0 to 100, Indians rank the United States first at 62 degrees, then Singapore (58), Japan (57) and Australia (56). Indians feel warmer towards these countries than those in the so-called BRICS group with which India is often seen to share diplomatic or economic interests: Brazil (44), Russia (53), China (44) and South Africa (47). In fact, 78% of Indians think it would be better if India worked more like the United States, while about 60% think the same about Australia, Japan and Singapore, well ahead of other countries.
Soldiers and diplomats
Indians are exceptionally attached to their armed forces: 95% see the possession of a strong military as very important for India to achieve its aims in the world. Most Indians also believe that nuclear weapons (79%), India’s image in the world (78%), wise political leadership (78%) and strong political leadership (75%) are important for achieving their nation’s goals. Despite a tradition of strategic autonomy, 72% of Indians attach great importance to India having strong countries as partners.
An overwhelming majority (94%) of Indians see Pakistan as a threat, citing terrorism as a major reason. Other reasons identified include a belief that the Pakistani army sees India as its enemy, that Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and that it claims sovereignty over Kashmir. Even so, 89% of Indians agree that ordinary people in both countries want peace, 87% agree that a big improvement in India-Pakistan relations requires courageous leadership on both sides, and 76% agree that India should take the initiative.
The poll results suggest wariness towards China from the Indian public. A large majority (83%) considers China a security threat. The poll reveals multiple reasons for this mistrust, including China’s possession of nuclear weapons, competition for resources in third countries, China’s efforts to strengthen its relations with other countries in the Indian Ocean region, and the China-India border dispute. Although China has become India’s largest trading partner, only 31% of Indians agree that China’s rise has been good for India. But in responding to China’s rise, most Indians want an each-way bet: 65% agree India should join other countries to limit China’s influence yet a similar number (64%) agree that India should cooperate with China to play a leading role in the world. Almost two thirds of Indians (63%) would like relations with China to strengthen.
The United States
Most Indians (83%) consider India-US relations to be strong. And 75% of Indians want US-India ties to strengthen further over the next 10 years. Still, a substantial minority (31%) of Indians think the United States poses a threat to India, though only 9% see it as a major threat.
Most Indians value democracy: 70% consider it preferable to any other kind of government. Still, 21% say that in some circumstances a non-democratic government can be preferable. Indians overwhelmingly believe in basic democratic rights: at least 95% support the right to a fair trial, the right to free expression and the right to vote, while 87% support the right to a media free from censorship.
Priorities at home
Indians consider social peace and harmony to be the highest priority for domestic policy (82% consider it very important), followed by reducing corruption (78%), jobs and healthcare (76%), education (74%), infrastructure (72%), economic growth (71%), and protecting democratic rights and the environment (69%).
The poll confirms intense feelings about corruption: 94% of Indians consider there to be a lot of corruption in their country, and 92% think it has increased in the past five years. An overwhelming 96% think corruption is holding India back and 94% believe that reducing corruption should be a top priority for their government. Most Indians (80%) think anti-corruption campaigners have made India a better place.
With the rapid growth and reach of the Indian media, the citizens of the world’s largest democracy increasingly recognise the challenges confronting their nation. Leaders and decision-makers in New Delhi are facing a more complex and demanding foreign policy environment. External power balances are shifting, other nations are competing for India’s attention, transnational challenges are accumulating, and more and more domestic actors – from business to the Indian diaspora, political parties to journalists, state governments to civil society – are insisting on playing their part in India’s engagement with the world.
Not long ago, Indian external policy was the preserve of a small and professional elite, seemingly removed from public opinion and the news cycle. Those days are over. Professional opinion polling is regularly conducted in India on domestic issues, while international research organisations have polled Indian attitudes on specific foreign policy questions, such as attitudes to America. The India Poll 2013 goes a step further: it looks comprehensively at what Indians think about a wide range of foreign and security policy challenges and how these connect to vital domestic questions about India’s future.
The results, presented in this report, suggest that Indians from all sectors of society are taking an interest in the outside world as well as their nation’s future.
This data provides an important resource for decision-makers crafting policy choices within India, as well as those from other countries seeking to engage with this emerging giant.
Looking on the bright side
Despite India’s many obvious problems, most Indians seem broadly positive about their current and future circumstances. When asked to think about world events a majority of Indians say they feel safe (64%), though there is a tension between this general feeling and most Indians’ concern about the specific security threats examined in other parts of the poll. Even more (74%) are optimistic about prospects for the Indian economy. A small majority (56%) sees itself as economically better off than five years ago. Notably, those Indians with the highest level of education are more positive about the way India’s economic growth has treated them: 68% say they are better off than five years ago, whereas only 47% of those with the lowest level of education say they are better off.
Looking at the world
We asked respondents to rate their feelings towards 22 other countries on a scale of 0, meaning a very cold, unfavourable feeling, to 100, meaning a very warm, favourable feeling. The United States ranked first, at 62 degrees, followed by Singapore (58), Japan (57) and Australia (56). Indians feel warmer towards these countries than those with which India is sometimes grouped diplomatically or economically, the so-called BRICS: Brazil (44), Russia (53), China (44) and South Africa (47). Pakistan was ranked lowest (20).
Significantly, popular feelings of warmth or coolness are at odds with some traditional preferences of Indian foreign policy. For instance, Indians feel almost equal coolness towards Iran (37) and Israel (36), even though both countries are important in Indian strategic calculations, Iran as an energy supplier and Israel as an arms provider and defence partner. And Indians feel a little more warmly towards China (44) than towards Vietnam (39) or Indonesia (40) even though these countries are sometimes seen as potential partners for India in balancing against Chinese power. In India’s own neighbourhood, there is a distinct hierarchy of friendliness: Indians prefer Nepal (54) and Sri Lanka (52) over Bangladesh (42) and Burma/Myanmar (41). Afghanistan (29) does not rate very far above Pakistan (20).
These results are in some accord with Indians’ views on whether other societies and systems of government function well and are worthy of emulation. A total of 78% of Indians think it would be better if India worked more like the United States, while only 5% think it would be worse. Australia (60% better), Japan (60% better) and Singapore (59% better) rank next, out of the ten countries considered in this part of the poll. Other countries, including Britain (45% better), China (42% better) and Germany (41% better), do not fare as well. Saudi Arabia (21% better) and Iran (17% better) fare poorly, while Pakistan’s rating is by far the lowest; only 5% of Indians think it would be better if government and society in India worked more like they do in Pakistan. Wealthier and more educated Indians are the most supportive of India emulating other democracies or more developed countries. For instance, 74% of highly educated Indians would like India to be more like Japan, whereas only 32% of the least educated Indians would.
Asked whether other countries give India more or less respect than it deserves, or about the right amount, only about 23% said India was receiving less respect than it deserved. A surprising 36% indicated that they felt India was getting more respect than it deserved, and the same proportion thought the amount of respect was about right.
What is Indian foreign policy for?
Indians set high expectations for what their country ought to be achieving in its foreign policy. But they do not discriminate much between the importance of particular goals: Indians attributed high and roughly equal importance to 13 potential foreign policy goals – including strengthening the Indian economy, energy security, combatting terrorism and joining the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member.
Indians are more discriminating in their views of what instruments matter for success in external policy. Ninety five per cent of Indians see the possession of a strong military as very important for India to achieve its foreign policy goals, and 99% see this as important to some degree. Meanwhile most Indians see the possession of nuclear weapons (79%), strong political leadership (75%), wise political leadership (78%), and India’s good image in the world (78%), as important to achieving the country’s goals.
Significantly, 72% of Indians think it is very important to have strong countries as partners for India, something that seems at odds with Indian traditions of non-alignment. By contrast, 68% of Indians see an effective external affairs ministry as very important to achieving the country’s foreign policy goals, and 66% see effective intelligence services in a similar light. Nevertheless, a majority consider that the Indian Ministry of External Affairs should be bigger than, or at least as large as, the foreign ministries of a range of other countries offered in the poll: the United States, China, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. For instance, 44% said that India’s foreign ministry should be larger than China’s, while 29% said it should be about the same size. In fact, in 2012 the Indian Ministry of External Affairs had just 790 diplomats while China had 6,200.
Relations with South Asia
Many Indians have mixed views about India’s relations with the other countries in its wider South Asia neighbourhood: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma/Myanmar, Maldives and Sri Lanka. A total of 70% of Indians think India has good relations with most of these countries, although only 15% describe these relations as very good. Asked to respond to a range of statements on this issue, most (80%) agreed that for India to have better relations with other countries in South Asia, it needs to be more generous and respectful towards them. At the same time, a similar majority agree that other countries in South Asia can learn from the example of India’s democracy (79%) and should do more to accept India’s leadership in the region (78%). A smaller but still substantial majority of Indians see a stabilising role for commerce: 71% agree that free trade between India and other countries in South Asia would make the region more peaceful. Even so, a majority of Indians (62%) also feels that their country should not worry about the problems in neighbouring countries, although only 28% hold this view strongly.
The Indian Ocean
Indians are more united when it comes to Indian power and leadership in an ocean that is seen as India’s natural sphere of interest. An overwhelming 94% of Indians agree that India should have the most powerful navy in the Indian Ocean and 89% agree that India should do more to lead cooperation in that region.
Indians have clear views about which countries they would prefer as security partners in the Indian Ocean. The United States fares best, with 72% agreeing it can be a good partner for India in the Indian Ocean. This view is especially prevalent among the wealthy (86%) and the highly educated (83%). Despite some frictions in India-China relations, a sizeable 39% of Indians agree that China can be a good partner for India in the Indian Ocean. In between, 56% agree that Australia, another Indian Ocean country, can be a good partner for India in this maritime region.
Threats and challenges
To find out how Indians felt about challenges to their nation’s security, we asked about a range of possible threats ranging from energy and water shortages through terrorism and insurgency to war with Pakistan or China. Respondents were asked whether they regarded each issue as a threat, and if so whether it was a ‘big threat’ or a ‘small threat’. Although a large majority of Indians consider all of these issues to be a threat, there is a reasonably clear ranking of which issues matter the most, particularly when it comes to distinguishing between a big and a small threat.
Shortages of energy, water and food, along with wider environmental issues like climate change, register as the most important challenges, with 80-85% of Indians identifying these issues as big threats, and 97-98% in total identifying them as threats.
The next three highest-ranking threats are war with Pakistan (77% big threat, 94% in total), homegrown terrorism within India (74% big threat, 93% in total) and Maoist/Naxalite insurgency (71% big, 93% total). Similar levels of concern are expressed over foreign-sponsored jihadist attacks within India (74% big, 91% total), separatism in Kashmir (72% big, 91% total), and nuclear weapons held by other countries (71% big, 90% total). The possibility of war with China ranks only very slightly lower in Indian threat perceptions, with 73% of Indians seeing this as a big threat and 88% seeing this as a threat to some degree. Two-thirds of Indians see separatism in their country’s Northeastern states as a big threat, with 89% in total seeing it as a threat to some degree. Of all the potential threats presented in the poll questions, only ‘instability inside Pakistan’ rates markedly lower in Indian public concerns. But even on this issue, 81% of Indians perceive a threat to their country’s security, and 60% rate it a big threat.
Indians are much more discriminating when asked to rank which countries they see as threats to their nation over the next 10 years. Most Indians identify only two countries, Pakistan and China, as threats to their national security.
Pakistan and Kashmir
Only 10% of Indians consider the relationship with Pakistan to be strong, with only 1% defining it as very strong. Instead, a very large majority (84%) consider that relationship to be weak, with 51% describing it as very weak. And only 40% of Indians would like relations with Pakistan to grow stronger over the next 10 years, with an only slightly smaller proportion (37%) indicating that they would like relations to grow weaker.
An overwhelming majority (94%) of Indians say that Pakistan poses a threat to India’s security, with 78% rating this as a major threat and only 2% saying it does not pose a threat. Indians who consider Pakistan a threat indicate that they do so for multiple reasons, with the top four being that terrorists from Pakistan launch attacks inside India, that the Pakistani military sees India as its enemy, that Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and that Pakistan claims sovereignty over Kashmir.
For all their perceptions of Pakistan as a threat, most Indians see some grounds for improved relations with their neighbour. A very large majority, 89%, agree that ordinary people in both countries want peace, and 60% strongly agree with this statement, with only 7% disagreeing. A similarly large majority (87%) agree that a big improvement in India-Pakistan relations would require courageous leadership in both countries, and 76% agree that as the bigger country, India should take the initiative towards peace. A substantial majority (72%) also identify trade and economic cooperation as ways to help bring about peace with Pakistan.
Yet strikingly, slightly more than half of Indians (56%) consider that there can never be complete peace between the two countries. Moreover, Indians are evenly divided on whether this is a good thing: 48% agree it is acceptable if India and Pakistan are never completely at peace; 48% disagree. In any case, two-thirds of Indians (67%) consider that peace will only be possible with an agreement on Kashmir.
Many explanations have been offered for the bloodshed and unrest in the Kashmir Valley. An overwhelming majority of Indians polled (93%) consider that forces within Pakistan use the Kashmir issue as a reason to continue fighting with India. A very large majority (85%) agree that extremists use the Kashmir issue to justify terrorism. Substantial minorities agree with other reasons offered as explanations for violence in Kashmir: 47% consider the security forces in Kashmir as too harsh; 43% believe that many Kashmiris do not want to be part of India; and 42% of respondents consider that these governments of India and of Jammu and Kashmir have not done enough to improve the lives of ordinary Kashmiris.
Due to political and security sensitivities, surveys for this poll were not conducted in Jammu and Kashmir (see methodology, page 32).
A significant minority of Indians (41%) consider India-China relations to be strong, although only 14% describe this relationship as very strong, and 47% define it as weak. Almost two thirds of Indians (63%) would like relations with China to become stronger over the next 10 years, with 33% wanting them to be a lot stronger.
Indians are divided about what a rising China means for their country, although a majority tends towards wariness or even mistrust. Despite the fact that China has become India’s largest trading partner, only 31% of Indians agree that China’s rise has been good for India, with 58% disagreeing. Indians are more divided on the question of whether a more powerful and influential China would harm their country’s interests: 45% consider it would not be harmful to India, 41% disagree. Similarly, 40% of Indians agree that the United States should give China a larger say in regional affairs in Asia, while 42% think it should not.
Greater mistrust towards China is evident when Indians are asked whether ‘China’s aim is to dominate Asia’: 70% of Indians agree with this statement, 40% strongly, and only 14% disagree. A slightly smaller majority of Indians (65%) agree with the statement that India should join with other countries to limit China’s influence, and only 21% disagree. Yet many Indians are hedging their bets about China: a majority (64%) of Indians also agree that India should cooperate with China to play a leading role in the world together, with 30% agreeing strongly and only 23% disagreeing. In other words, some Indians who want cooperation against China also want cooperation with China. Most Indians do not, however, want their government to do more to pressure China on human rights, with 57% agreeing that India is doing enough in this area already and 25% disagreeing, 6% strongly.
A large majority (83%) of Indians consider that China poses a threat to India’s security, with 60% defining this as a major threat and only 9% saying it does not pose a threat. These threat perceptions are most intense in north India, where 93% consider China a threat, and 81% consider this threat to be major. Threat perceptions are markedly lower in south India, where only 31% consider China a major threat, although a total of 77% there still consider China a threat to some degree. Almost all of those Indians who consider China a threat indicate that they do so for multiple reasons, with the top four being China’s possession of nuclear weapons, competition for resources in third countries, China’s efforts to strengthen its relations with other countries in the Indian Ocean region, and the India-China border dispute.
The United States
A large majority of Indians (83%) consider India-US relations to be strong, with 38% describing this relationship as very strong. Three quarters of Indians would like the US-India relationship to become stronger still over the next 10 years, with 50% wanting it to become a lot stronger.
In spite of most Indians’ positive responses to questions about the United States, a substantial minority (31%) of Indians consider the United States to pose a threat to India, although only 9% consider this a major threat. These threat perceptions are distinctly lower in west India, where only
4% consider America a major threat and a total of 20% see it as a threat at all. Interestingly, more Indians consider the United States a threat to their country than they do Iran: only 18% consider Iran a threat to India, and only 4% judge this a major threat.
Most Indians value their democracy. Asked to choose from three statements about preferred political systems, 70% agree that ‘democracy is preferable to any other kind of government’. This sentiment is strongest in India’s south (83%) and weakest in its east (60%), a sharp contrast that warrants further examination. A substantial minority of Indians (21%) agree instead with the statement that ‘in some circumstances a non-democratic government can be preferable’, while 6% opt for the view that ‘for someone like me, it doesn’t matter what kind of government we have’.
Indians overwhelmingly believe in basic democratic rights. Almost every Indian adult (95%) agrees that ‘the right to a fair trial’ is important in India. There is similar near-universal agreement over ‘the right to vote in national elections’ (96%) and ‘the right to freely express yourself’ (95%). These views are firmly held, with large majorities saying they ‘strongly agree’ with these rights. There are slightly lower levels of support for the fourth democratic right presented, ‘the right to a media free from censorship’ (87%), although even here only 6% of Indians disagree that this right is important.
Domestic policy priorities
Indians feel strongly about the things they want their government to achieve at home. When asked about a range of nine possible policy objectives, ranging from maintaining social peace and providing jobs to improving infrastructure and protecting the environment, almost all Indians (between 97% and 99%) indicate that every one of these goals is important to some degree. Some sense of priorities can be gleaned, however, by looking at those issues they ranked as very important rather than fairly important. From this, it appears that Indians consider maintaining social peace and harmony to be the highest priority (82% consider it very important), followed by reducing corruption (78%), providing jobs and improving healthcare for Indians (76%), improving education (74%), improving infrastructure (72%), making the economy grow (71%), and protecting democratic rights and the natural environment (69%).
The poll confirms the strength of Indian public feelings about corruption, an issue that has attracted intense attention from civil society movements. An overwhelming majority (94%) of Indians consider there to be a lot of corruption in the country, and a similar majority (92%) considers the level of corruption to have increased over the past five years.
Asked to agree or disagree with a range of statements about corruption, an overwhelming majority of Indians (96%) agree corruption is holding India back, with 78% holding this view strongly. Similar proportions agree that reducing corruption should be a top priority for the Indian government, with 94% agreeing and 73% doing so strongly.
Most Indians applaud anti-corruption campaigners with 80% agreeing they have made India a better place, and 49% strongly agreeing with this statement, even though a little over half (56%) also agree that such campaigners ‘have their own political motives’. Indians are divided on whether corruption can be beaten: 43% agree that there will always be corruption in India so there is no point in trying to fight it, although a slight majority, 52%, disagree.
At the same time, most Indians are not convinced that the corruption in their country is the global exception: two thirds agree with the statement that corruption in India is about the same as in other countries.
About the poll
The India Poll 2013 reports the results of a nationally representative opinion survey of 1233 Indian adults conducted face-to-face in India between 30 August and 15 October 2012. In addition to the questions covered in the present report, the survey included questions on Indian perceptions of Australia, the responses to which were published as the India-Australia Poll in April 2013.
This polling project is a collaboration between the Lowy Institute for International Policy and the Australia India Institute, part-funded by a substantial grant from the Australia India Institute with additional financial support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and from the Lowy Institute’s International Security Program.
The fieldwork was conducted by GfK Mode. The poll was designed and managed by Rory Medcalf, with the advice of Fergus Hanson, Alex Oliver and research consultant Sol Lebovic, who additionally provided technical support, reviewed the questionnaire and helped interpret the data. The author acknowledges ideas and insights from Amitabh Mattoo, Christopher Kremmer, Rohan Mukherjee and Harsh Shrivastava as well as extensive assistance from Danielle Rajendram. David Longfield at Longueville Media showed his usual professionalism and patience. The partnership of the Observer Research Foundation in the India launch of the poll is also gratefully noted.
About the author
Rory Medcalf is Director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute. He is Associate Director of the Australia India Institute, heading its Sydney Node at the University of New South Wales. His professional background spans diplomacy, journalism and intelligence analysis. As a diplomat, he served at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi from 2000 to 2003. He maintains a close interest in Australia’s relations with India and is the Australian co-chair of the Australia-India Roundtable, the leading informal dialogue between the two countries. Mr Medcalf’s wider research covers a range of strategic issues in Indo-Pacific Asia. He is a Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Brookings Institution.
The Lowy Institute for International Policy
The Lowy Institute for International Policy is an independent international policy think tank. Its mandate ranges across all the dimensions of international policy debate in Australia – economic, political and strategic – and it is not limited to a particular geographic region. Its two core tasks are: to produce distinctive research and fresh policy options for Australia’s international policy and contribute to the wider international debate; and to promote discussion of Australia’s role in the world by providing an accessible and high-quality forum for discussion of Australian international relations through debates, seminars, lectures, dialogues and conferences.
As an independent think tank the Lowy Institute requires a broad funding base. The Institute currently receives grants from Australian and international philanthropic foundations; membership fees and sponsorship from private sector and government entities; grants from Australian and international governments; subscriptions and ticket sales for events; and philanthropic donations from private individuals, including ongoing support from the Institute’s founding benefactor, Mr Frank Lowy AC.
The Australia India Institute
The Australia India Institute (AII) is a leading centre for research, teaching, public policy and outreach programs that build co-operation and mutual understanding between Australia and India. Based at the University of Melbourne, and with Nodes at the University of New South Wales and La Trobe University, the Institute hosts a growing range of events and programs that are deepening and enriching the relationship between the two countries. Core funding for the Institute is provided by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, and the State Government of Victoria’s Department of Business and Innovation.
India poll methodology
For this opinion poll, GfK’s local field agency, GfK Mode, conducted 1233 interviews in India between 30 August and 15 October 2012. All interviews were conducted face-to-face in respondents’ homes.
The sample was designed to be broadly and nationally representative of India’s adult population, aged 18 years and over. Due to the sensitive political climate in Jammu and Kashmir, and the remoteness of the North Eastern states and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, these areas were excluded from sample design.
The questionnaire was written in English, and translated into Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Marathi and Kannada, after several rounds of review and revision.
A multi-stage stratified random sample was designed as follows. The population was arrayed by four geographic regions: North, East, West, and South and by four strata: large metro areas with a population size of over 5 million, large cities with a population size of 1 to 5 million, small cities with a population size of under 1 million; and villages.
With probability proportional to size, one large metro area, one large city, one small city, and seven villages were selected per geographic region.
Electoral rolls were used as the sampling frame in urban areas, and randomly selected electoral constituencies served as primary sampling units (PSUs). Starting points within each PSU were randomly selected from these electoral rolls. In villages, clusters of blocks or streets served as PSUs, and were selected randomly in each village as a starting point. In both urban areas and villages, no more than 10 interviews were completed per PSU.
For household selection, systematic random sampling with a pre-specified interval of 1 to 5 (for urban dwellings) and 1 to 4 (for rural dwellings) was used. The Kish grid method was used to randomly select a respondent from adults residing in the selected household. Up to three attempts in different points of time (morning, afternoon, evening, working day, or weekend) were made in order to achieve an interview with the chosen respondent.
Both age and gender were monitored throughout the course of fieldwork in order to ensure sufficient base sizes in each age/gender cross-cell. A response rate of 57% was achieved. Data for this survey were weighted by key demographic variables – age within sex, region, and community size – according to the 2011 census to ensure that the final weighted sample was representative of India’s adult population, ages 18 years and over.
All samples are subject to some degree of sampling “error” – that is, statistical results obtained from a sample can be expected to differ somewhat from results that would be obtained if every member of the target population were interviewed. For this poll, the maximum margin of error at a 95% confidence level is within ± 3.6 percentage points for the total sample. Sub-sample margins of error may be significantly higher.