The survey, conducted through a telephonic panel, covers 15514 individual earners living in 22 states. The rural sample is 7221 and the urban sample is
8293. The survey has been designed to be representative of the ground reality, with quotabased coverage of younger and older earners, as well as representation from the relatively highincome (5643), middle-income (6549), and lowincome (3322) earners and economically weaker sections. This survey was conducted during the period of March to May 2022. All respondents were earners. According to Dr. Mira Shekar, Global Lead for Nutrition at The World Bank, in the last few decades, obesity has gone up by at least three times. Today 44% of adults across the world are either overweight or obese and for kids under five years, almost 80% who are obese or overweight live in the lower and middle-income economies of the world, which includes India.
Perceptions of the State of the Nation
What ails the nation?
Two questions were asked as part of this segment of the research, viz.
- “If you had to choose, which of the following is the most pressing problem in this country that the government needs to control before anything else?”
- “How confident are you in the government’s ability to tackle the issues you have indicated in the previous question within the next few years?”
The biggest issue in India today is unemployment, being the priority choice of nearly 33% of urban respondents and over 37% of rural respondents. This was followed by retail food prices. Surprisingly, the least respondents were perturbed about the country’s stagnant economic growth, possibly because macroeconomic concepts were not a top-of-the-mind issue for the general public. Corruption was also not an issue that was cited by many.
If you had to choose, which of the following are the most pressing problem in this country that the government needs to control before anything else?
Unemployment was a big issue for most but more so among the younger respondents. Over 40% of the respondents aged 18-35 years had cited growing unemployment as an issue of serious concern for the nation. Regarding the place of consumption, overwhelmingly for 4 out of the 7 ‘fast food’ items, the major share of the consumption took place at home. Namkeens (in the form of chips and other salty snacks) are consumed primarily outside of school or home or within the school. Similar trends were reported for both sweetened soft drinks as well as chocolates/candy/ice cream.
How confident are you in the government’s ability to tackle the issues you have indicated in the previous question within the next few years?
Regarding confidence in the government’s ability to tackle these issues, it would seem that while across most issues respondents were highly or somewhat confident that the government would tackle them over the next few years, the exception was unemployment which was the most important issue of all. In fact, well over one in three respondents who were younger in age harboured the feeling of no confidence in the government being able to tackle this issue in the near future
Current state of happiness
Taking cognisance of the current issues that ail the nation as perceived by the people of the country, the survey participants were asked just how happy (or otherwise) they felt with the current status of their lives.
Just over one out of three urban earners were quite happy with the current state of their lives, while nearly half were somewhat happy; conversely, nearly 18%
were not. On the other hand, happiness was less pronounced in rural areas. But overall, 82% of urban earners and 78% of rural earners were inclined to be happy with their present disposition. 8%).