QUALITY OF AGE STATISTICS IN INDIA: AN INSIGHT OF CHANGING COURSE OF RELIABILITY
Keywords:age error, biases, Whipple’s Index, literacy rate, birth registration
The second phase of census operation in India — population enumeration — collects data on individual’s characteristics from every household. Out of 30 questions that are asked the pivotal query is that of the age and the sex. Both these data have certain crucial demographic, an economic and social angle which helps to build future policies and alleviating any concern. However, the available age information procured through census operation shows age heaping around the digits of “0” and “5”, which seems to be declining with age. Besides, the data also have a gendered perspective on the question of age heaping. Owing to such misleading information future policy prescriptions stand questioned. This descriptive study is a step forward towards resolving the lacunae by estimating the magnitude of age heaping in every state of India, secured with the help of Whipple’s Index. In addition, the study relates the accuracy of age reporting to characteristics of literacy, urban population, and level of birth registration. And concludes that with raising the level of these predictors reporting of correct age can be effectively secured.
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