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I'm looking for a dataset containing:

  • list of Indian last names
  • list of Indian castes
  • for each last name, the probability to belongs to each caste.
  • 1
    Have you checked in the indianstatistics here indiastat.com/demographics/7/stats.aspx? Probably, you will find the datasets you need. Maybe not all of them in one dataset, but you could combine a few of them to create your own. – Tasos May 27 '14 at 7:47
  • If IndiaStat has the kind of privacy commitments that the US Census Bureau has, it's unlikely that the general public could go from last names to probabilities about people with those last names. – Joe Germuska May 27 '14 at 13:50
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    FWIW, the US Census Bureau has an analogous data set, which documents the top 1000 last names and the percentage of people with that name by race: census.gov/genealogy/www/data/2000surnames – Joe Germuska May 27 '14 at 13:51
2

Since the caste system has been officially banned, there have changes in Indian society that seem to complicate a straightforward connection between caste and last name. Some of those changes include people choosing to change their last name, inclusion of other cultural norms in naming, and mobility within society.

However, there is still data available, but you might need to merge several datasets and sources together to achieve what you are looking for. There is a strong relation between region, caste, and name, and so sorting by region should give you better insights. The following might be helpful:

  1. Scrape region, name, and caste from the nice compilation at, unexpectedly, Wikipedia and in Edgar Thurston's Ethnographic Notes in Southern India.
  2. Datasets on caste-related information at Data.gov.in (but in general these do not include the last name of respondents or surveyed individuals)
  3. There is additional data on caste in relation to many other variables from the Indian National Election Study (ranging from 1967-1985).

These guidelines may be helpful in looking at the structure of Indic name data sources.

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