Centre for Statistical & Survey Methodology Working Paper Series

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The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) surveys are the main source of official statistics in India and generate a range of invaluable data at the macro level (e.g. state and national level). However, the NSSO data cannot be used directly to produce reliable estimates at the micro level (e.g. district or further disaggregate level) due to small sample sizes. There is a rapidly growing demand of such micro level statistics in India as the country is moving from centralized to more decentralized planning system. In this article we employ small area estimation (SAE) techniques to derive model-based estimates of proportion of indebted households at district or at other small area levels in the State of Uttar Pradesh in India by linking data from the Debt-Investment Survey 2002-03 of NSSO and the Population Census 2001 and the Agriculture Census 2003. Our results show that the model-based estimates are precise and representative. For many small areas it is even not possible to produce estimates using sample data alone. The model based estimates generated using SAE are still reliable for such areas. The estimates are expected to provide invaluable information to policy-analysts and decision-makers.