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Karnataka next only to Gujarat among states with lowest unemployment rates

In 2015-16, 49.3% women in Karnataka were involved in household decision-making

Bhasker Tripathi | IndiaSpend  |  New Delhi 

women, unemployment
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has amongst India’s best economic and outcomes, but women’s empowerment lags some of India’s poorest states, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of data.

Ahead of the election to the state’s assembly on May 12, 2018, we compared Karnataka’s performance on 15 socio-economic and health-related indicators–sourced from Family Health Surveys 2005-06 (NFHS 3) and 2015-16 (NFHS 4), Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation and Ministry of Labour and Employment–with nine other states. Some highlights:

  • Among the states, has the country’s second lowest rate, behind only Gujarat. Karnataka’s per capita income ranks fourth among the 10 states considered for the analysis;
  • Karnataka’s infant mortality rate declined from 43.2 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005-06 to 26.9 in 2015-16, ranking fifth among the 10 states analysed;
  • In 2015-16, 49.3% women in were involved in household decision-making, better only than Bihar, Telangana and Mizoram;
  • In 2015-16, 62.6% children (12-23 months) in Karnataka received all basic vaccinations, up from 55% in 2005-06. Karnataka ranks fifth among the 10 states considered for the analysis.

For our analysis, we chose south Indian states Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, development leaders Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra and laggards Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

For the period of analysis (2005-06 to 2015-16), the (BJP) governed Karnataka for seven years until took over in 2013–the last assembly elections. Of the other nine states, six–Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Gujarat–currently have governments. Kerala has the government of Left Democratic Front, while Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are ruled by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Telugu Desam Party, respectively.

Karnataka has among country’s lowest child mortality rates

In 2015-16, Karnataka’s infant mortality rate (IMR)–the probability that a child born in a particular year will die before reaching the age of one–was 26.9 per 1,000 live births, down from 43.2 in 2005-06. Karnataka’s IMR was lower than the average (40.7) and ranked fifth among the 10 states considered for the analysis.

At 31.5 deaths per 1,000 live births, the state’s under-five mortality rate also ranked fifth among the 10 states–worse than Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

In 2015-16, 62.6% children–just above the national average of 62%–aged 12-23 months received all basic vaccinations in Karnataka, up from 55% in 2005-06, according to

To have received all basic vaccinations, a child must receive at least one dose of BCG vaccine, which protects against tuberculosis, three doses of DPT vaccine, which protects against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and tetanus, three doses of polio vaccine and one dose of measles vaccine.

Karnataka ranked fifth among the 10 states considered for the analysis.

Karnataka lags poorer states on women empowerment

More than 50% women in Karnataka were not involved in household decision making, according to national data. This includes decisions regarding one’s own healthcare, major purchases, daily household purchases and the decision to visit her family or relatives.

At 49.3%, Karnataka’s figure–lowest among the 10 states evaluated–is nearly 10 percentage points below the national average (59.2%), and is better only than that of, as we said, Bihar, Telangana and Mizoram.

In 2015-16, 58.1% women said it is justified for a husband to hit/beat his wife for any one of seven stated reasons—going out without telling him, neglecting the house or children, arguing with him, refusing sex, not cooking properly, showing disrespect for in-laws or if he suspects she is unfaithful. This was more than the national average of 51.7%, and worse than poorer states such as Uttar Pradesh (51.3%), Bihar (53.4%) and Rajasthan (33.4%).

In the same year, 57.5% men in Karnataka said it was justified, more than the national average of 42.2%, and worse than poorer states such as Uttar Pradesh (41.6%0, Bihar (38.1%) and Rajasthan (30.4%).

Over the decade to 2015-16, the percentage of ever-married women (15-49 years) who have ever faced emotional, physical or sexual violence by husband/previous partners in Karnataka rose from 21.5% in 2005-06 to 24.4%. Though this is lower than the national average (31%), it was higher than in Goa, Kerala, Gujarat and Maharashtra among the 10 states selected.

In 2015-16, 32.7% women (15-64 years) in Karnataka were part of the labour force, higher than the national average female labour force participation of 23.7%, according to the and Employment’s Fifth Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey 2015-16.

Karnataka is ranked fourth on this indicator among the 10 states considered for the analysis–behind Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

Seven in 10 are literate, nearly one in two complete 10 years’ education

In 2015-16, Karnataka’s female literacy rate (71.7%) ranked sixth among the 10 states, better only than Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The state ranked 23rd of 36 states and union territories nationwide.

Meanwhile, 45.4% women in the state completed 10 or more years of education–behind Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu–data from NFHS-4 show.

While 85.1% men in Karnataka were literate in 2015-16, 55.2% completed 10 or more years of education, data show.

Overall, 87.9% of Karnataka’s children aged 6-17 years were attending school in 2015-16, up from 73.3% a decade ago. Karnataka ranks fourth among the 10 states on this parameter.

Karnataka lags poorer states in access to drinking water and household toilets

In 2015-16, 89.3% households in Karnataka had access to an improved source of drinking water–including piped connections, public taps, tubewells or boreholes, protected dugwells and springs, rainwater or community reverse osmosis plant. The state ranked seventh of 10 states analysed.

Meanwhile, 65.8% households in Karnataka had a toilet facility–up from 46.5% in 2005-06–ranking fifth among 10 states considered for the analysis.

Karnataka has India’s second-lowest rate

At 1.5%, Karnataka’s rate in 2015-16 was India’s second-lowest, behind only Gujarat, according to data from the and employment. The national average was 5%.

The state’s per capita income in 2014-15–year for which latest state-wise data were available–was Rs 125,832, more than the national average of Rs 86,454 that year. Karnataka ranked fourth among the 10 states evaluated.


(Tripathi is a principal correspondent with IndiaSpend.)

First Published: Fri, May 11 2018. 06:57 IST
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