The Socioeconomic High-resolution Rural-Urban Geographic Platform for India (SHRUG) facilitates data sharing between researchers working on India. It is an open access repository currently comprising dozens of datasets covering India’s over 500,000 villages and 8000 towns over a span of 25 years, all linked together with a set of common geographic identifiers.

A new model for using and sharing data.

Our goal is to make as many Indian datasets as possible speak to each other at the highest achievable granularity. Browse our data, use as much as you want, and contribute back to this effort to empower everyone to use data for the greater good.

Prior to the SHRUG, linking different Indian datasets was a hassle. The common geographic frame of SHRUG now makes it easy to share information and link data. Researchers can immediately tap into SHRUG to mine a wealth of previously unavailable socioeconomic data for the geographies that they are working on, and can then publish their own data back to SHRUG, making it available to researchers working on other topics.

Applications of the SHRUG

Where are the most impactful locations for targeting a new primary health centre in India? We want to identify places with high populations unserved by public or private health facilities. The necessary data are already linked together in the SHRUG, make it easy to find the data needed to improve allocation decisions.

How do village characteristics depend on proximity to towns? SHRUG's high-resolution data lets us map out these relationships with precision. These graphs show how (i) dependence on agriculture, (ii) consumption, and (iii) non-farm employment change as a function of distance to the nearest town with at least 100,000 people.

  • (i) Share of employment in cultivation-related activities
  • (ii) Consumption per capita (Rs)
  • (iii) Ratio of non-farm employment to total population

What are your prospects for moving up in the distribution if your family is poor? We get at this with a measure of upward mobility: it measures your expected education rank if you are born to a parent in the bottom half of the education distribution. We find that upward mobility for Muslims is way behind forward castes, SCs and STs, and is going down. [Source]

Nearly one billion people worldwide live in rural areas without access to national paved road networks. We estimated the impacts of India’s $40 billion national rural road construction program using village-level microdata. Roads don't have much impact on village consumption or agricultural investments, but they do help people exit agriculture and keep their children in school longer. [Source] [Source]

Contributing to the SHRUG

SHRUG data is shared using the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License for non-commercial use. You may use the data for your private research, on condition that you share your own data with SHRUG identifiers when your research paper is published. This makes it easier for others to find your data and cite your work. For inquiries into using the SHRUG for commercial purposes, please contact our team.

Funding Partners

We are grateful to our many funding partners for supporting the work behind the SHRUG.

Commercial use & services

For commercial use of the SHRUG, as well as custom data generation requests, please contact our team for capabilities and pricing.

© Development Data Lab, 2024

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