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Ethnicity, India

Codes and Frequencies

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ETHNICITYIA (V131IA) is a variable specific to India that reports the woman's ethnicity in broad categories for caste or tribe. Responses to ETHNICITYIA change over time. See Comparability.


ETHNICITYIA (V131IA) is a country-specific variable for India that collects information about the ethnic group to which the woman belongs. Unlike most DHS surveys, the 1992, 1998, and 2005 Indian surveys collected information about the woman's ethnicity through queries about the head of household. The 1992 survey asks whether the head of household belonged to "a scheduled tribe"; the 1998 and 2005 surveys ask the "caste or tribe" of the household head. The 2015 India survey asks whether the respondent belongs to "a scheduled caste, a scheduled tribe, other backward class, or none of these."

Along with universe and question wording differences, there are differences in the response categories for these two surveys. IPUMS-DHS uses composite coding to maximize comparability. The two categories reported in both surveys, "Scheduled caste" and "Scheduled tribe," have consistent codes. The remaining responses are grouped under "Other," with a common first digit of 3; detail available for only one sample is distinguished in the second digit of the "Other" group.

Comparability - Standard DHS

ETHNICITY (V131) is a country-specific variable included in the standard DHS questionnaire for Phase 2 forward, with no standard wording or response categories.


  • India 1992: Ever-married women age 13-49.
  • India 1998: Ever-married women age 15-49.
  • India 2005: All women age 15-49.
  • India 2015: All women age 15-49.
  • India: 1992-W, 1992-C, 1992-B, 1998-W, 1998-B, 1998-C, 2005-C, 2005-B, 2005-W, 2005-W, 2015-W, 2015-C, 2015-B, 2015-W