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Home / Economy / India@75 survey: Most don’t see $5-trln-GDP by 2027, but see bright family future

India@75 survey: Most don’t see $5-trln-GDP by 2027, but see bright family future

The optimism is more pronounced among the high-income groups: about 70% of those earning a monthly income of over  ₹50,000 believe their family’s situation will get better (Photo; Mint)Premium
The optimism is more pronounced among the high-income groups: about 70% of those earning a monthly income of over 50,000 believe their family’s situation will get better (Photo; Mint)

Over 61% of the respondents said they expected their family’s economic well-being to be ‘much better’ or ‘a little better’ in a few years. The share was the least—but still above 50%—for low earners, and the highest for high earners

Emerging fresh out of a once-in-a-century pandemic that left many unemployed or with pay cuts, Indians are hopeful of a brighter future as the country enters into a new era with the 75th year of independence. The covid-19 pandemic held the country hostage for two consecutive years, pushing the country briefly into a technical recession and taking a toll on the financial health of the citizens, but the worst seems to be over. And with that, a majority of Indians, across income groups, see their family's economic situation improve in a few years from now.

Over 61% of the respondents said they expected their family’s economic well-being to be “much better" or “a little better" in a few years, found the latest round of the YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey, conducted among 10,271 respondents across 204 cities and towns.

Even the poor who suffered the most due to the lockdowns and economic downturn have better hopes for the future. However, the optimism is more pronounced among the high-income groups: about 70% of those earning a monthly income of over 50,000 believe their family’s situation will get better. In contrast, only 53% share a similar sentiment among those earning less than 20,000.

The survey was held in June and July, in the run-up to India completing 75 years of independence. It was conducted jointly by the Indian arm of the global market research firm YouGov, Mint, and the Delhi-based think tank Centre for Policy Research (CPR). It was the eighth in a series of bi-annual online surveys aimed at examining the aspirations, anxieties, and attitudes of India’s digital natives.

The economy link

The optimism for the future seems to be emerging from the quick recovery trend the economy has shown, following the disruptions caused by the pandemic, as a sizeable proportion of Indians (nearly 30%) believe their family situation is closely linked with the economy: that is, their situation improves when the economy grows and deteriorates when the economy slows. However, about one in four respondents in the lower-income groups also find themselves in a more dire situation: they think their own situation does not get better with a growing economy but deteriorates when there is an economic slowdown.

The $5-trillion dream

For a fast-growing economy like India, a roadmap for the future is both an aim and a way to boost aspirations of the people. Back in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had set the target of achieving a GDP level of $5 trillion by 2025-26, which became a slogan for an India that was going to reinvent itself after riding the globalization-led high growth era for nearly three decades.

The pandemic proved to be a speed bump on India’s economic recovery but most respondents who are aware of the $5-trillion-GDP goal don’t see India reaching there before 2027. However, two-thirds see that aim met by 2030. Interestingly, at least 25% of respondents see India reaching the landmark by 2025, which is sooner than the target set by the government. The lowest-earners, post-millennials and supporters of the BJP are most bullish and more than 30% in each of these groups see India reaching the GDP level by 2025. Supporters of Aam Aadmi Party and those who do not identify with any party are the most pessimistic on the aim and see it happening only after 2030.

Most respondents, across income and age groups and political alignments, believe the target can be achieved sometime after 2027 and 2030.

It’s not the start-ups

How will India reach there? We gave respondents a list of six factors and asked them to pick three that would help the economy become more advanced. Despite the successes of Indian start-ups in recent years, only 41% respondents believe start-ups can be a way forward for India to become an advanced country. Instead, over two-thirds see education and skilling as one of the biggest factors that will help the country, while 53% want more advancement in agriculture. More big companies and support to small businesses was on the top of the wishlist for fewer than half of the respondents.

Moreover, in a signal of rising protectionist tendencies, half of all respondents also said India should promote domestic companies over foreign companies in all sectors. During the pandemic, the government has pushed for a narrative around making India self-reliant (“Atmanirbhar"), and on the completion of the 75th year of independence, it appears that the message is going through to the masses.

This is one of six parts in a data journalism series based on the YouGov-Mint-CPR survey held in the run-up to India completing 75 years of independence. Read all the parts here.

The survey's questionnaires, raw data and methodology for all rounds, including the latest one, can be found here

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