Exploring the association of urbanisation and subjective well-being in India

Shourjya Deb, Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


India is on route to becoming the largest population in the world, with around 50 % of its population estimated to be living in cities by 2050. However, for a country that is undergoing substantial changes on the economic and demographic front, India remains mostly understudied when it comes to subjective well-being (SWB). In light of a growing urban population and a consistently low rank on SWB indices, we investigate the association between urbanisation and SWB in India using ordinary least squares regression. We use the nationally representative 1995–2012 World Values Surveys and control for an extensive set of SWB predictors. We find that while Indians in cities (>500,000) report high SWB, those living in small towns (10,000–50,000) report the highest SWB. Contrary to the Western countries and China, Indians living in rural areas with small communities report low SWB, but the lowest SWB is reported by those living in areas with a population size of 50,000–100,000.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104068
StatePublished - Jan 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


  • India
  • Life satisfaction
  • Rural
  • Subjective wellbeing (SWB)
  • Urban
  • Urbanisation
  • World Values Survey (WVS)


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