To understand more about people’s perceptions of the security of property rights, the Land Alliance conducted a survey carried out with 14,000 respondents in 14 states across India. The paper presents the findings from this survey and reveals that insecurity of property rights is widespread in India, with about one in four owners and about half of renters expressing worry about losing their home. The paper recognizes that the primary reason for this insecurity is a lack of documentation, which further limits their access to opportunities, as property documents – such as residence proof or land record – are often required to access financial services, food subsidies, fertilizer subsidies, municipal sanitation or a range of other services.
However, on a slightly more encouraging note, the survey results also show that about half of owners have made efforts to update their legal records. This suggests that government efforts to make it easier and affordable for people to register or update property documentation at local levels could have a large impact on reducing people’s worry about their property rights, which would not only have benefits for private citizens, but the economy as a whole.
The data from this survey also provides a baseline against which to measure future progress. This report is the first in series of a global study, with similar surveys being currently carried out in nine additional countries. Ultimately, the intention is to gather data from every country and produce a truly global property rights index.