An Empirical Study of the Socio-Economic Status of the Baiga Tribe of Central India

According to the Oxford Dictionary, “a tribe is a group of people in a primitive or barbarous stage of development recognizing the authority of a chief and generally regarding themselves as having a common ancestor”. India has the second largest concentration of tribal population in the world after Africa. According to the 2011 census, the Scheduled Tribe (ST) population in India is 104.3 million (8.6%). This represented about a quarter of the total tribal population of the world. TS represent 11.3% of India’s rural population and 2.8% of India’s urban population. In 2001, the proportion of ST in relation to the total population was 8.2%, while the proportion was 10.4% in rural areas and 2.4% in urban areas. The total male population of ST, as of the 2011 census, is 5,24,09,823 of which 4,71,26,341 reside in rural areas and 52,83,482 in urban areas. The total female population of ST is 5,18,71,211 including 4,66,92,821 in rural areas and 51,78,390 in urban areas. The sex ratio among TS is 991 females per 1000 males in rural areas and 980 females per 1000 males in urban areas, the average being 990. Madhya Pradesh (MP) is home to the highest number of tribes of the country.

Baiga: a particularly vulnerable tribal group