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Gallup: India's life ratings fall from 5 to 4 since 2010 on a scale of 10, half of rural East "struggles to afford food"

By Our Representative
Gallup, a well-known American research-based, global performance-management consulting company with expertise in public opinion polls has said that Indians' life ratings have been consistently going down, from 5 on a scale 10 in 2010 to to 4 in 2017. Pointing out that India's life ratings “are especially low in the rural East”, where almost half of residents "struggle to afford food", Gallup, in its new findings has predicted, regional disparities “may affect 2019 parliamentary elections.”
Even as noting that “Indians' ratings of their current lives nationwide are the worst in recent record”, averaging 4.0 on a 0-to-10 scale in 2017, with their outlook depending “a lot on where they live”, Gallup says, what is significant is that “low life ratings are particularly notable given India's economic momentum in recent years.”
Thus, Gallup – whose results are based on face-to-face interviews with at least 3,000 adults, aged 15 and older – says, “The country's annual GDP growth topped 8% in 2015 before slowing somewhat to 7.1% in 2016 and 6.6% in 2017. Growth accelerated again over the course of 2017, and analysts expect it to be well over 7% again in 2018.”
However, Gallup shows how the high rate of growth hides “significant regional disparities in one of the world's fastest-growing economies.”
It says, “Residents in India's more urbanized South give their current lives an average rating of 4.5, versus 3.7 among those in the more rural Eastern and Central regions. While 55% of adults in the South rate their current lives a 5 or higher, about half as many in the East (29%) give ratings that high.”
Asserting that in many areas most people aren't feeling the effects of the high economic growth, Gallup claims, its finding “may have implications for the parliamentary elections to be held next spring.”
According to Gallup, “In 2017, the number of adults who said there were times in the past year when they did not have enough money to pay for food hit a high point of 37%, double the 18% who responded that way in 2012.”
It adds, “ Again, the results differ substantially by region; almost half of Indians in the East (48%) said in 2017 that they had had trouble paying for food in the past year, versus 22% in the South.”
According to Gallup, “Not all of India's economic indicators have been trending more negatively in recent years. Indians were significantly more likely in 2017 than they were in 2013, before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election, to say it is a good time to find a job in their area (44% vs 29%, respectively). And the proportion who feel their standard of living is improving edged up to 50% in 2017, from 44% in 2013.”
“However”, it underlines, “These indicators too are subject to large regional disparities – for example, Indians in the South are twice as likely as those in the East to say it is a good time to find a job in their area (54% vs. 27%, respectively).”
Gallup says, its results show that “as Indians' life ratings slipped, their support for Modi rose rather than fell”, with 79% of Indians saying “they approved of the job he's doing, the highest figure since he took office in 2014.”
At the same time, Gallup underscores, “Amid declining life evaluations and persistent hardship in much of the country”, things may not work positively for “local parliamentary candidates.”
It adds, “The prime minister's party has already suffered regional losses in this year's by-elections, leading to speculation that it may be more vulnerable than many realize. If opposition parties successfully highlight the country's persistent disparities and mobilize poverty-stricken voters, the BJP may lose further ground next spring.”

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