Population growth in India
According to the 2011 census, India has 1.21 billion people i.e 17% of the world's population in 2.4 % of the world's land area.
| Annual |
| Decadal |
In the 2001 census, we added 182 million over the 1991 population. In 2011, we have added 100 million population over 2001. The growth rate decline not only in percentage terms but also declined in terms of absolute numbers.
What is encouraging is there has been a decline in the child population <14 years of age. So, the population which will enter the reproductive age span will be lesser in the future and hence the decline in growth rate is now considered irreversible and consistent for India.
The highest annual growth rate for India was 2.3 % and the highest decadal growth rate was 25% in the 1970s.
India's population is expected to stabilize by the 2041 census at around 1.8 billion. India is expected to cross China by 2035.
The stages in India's population growth
|1. 1901-1921 |
|It was a period of high birth rate and high death rate.|
India was in the primitive demographic stage / 1st stage.
1921 recorded negative growth because of increased mortality rate. Hence 1921 is called India's demographic divide.
Since 1921, India never had negative growth. Our numbers have increased consistently.
|2. 1921-1951 |
|India enters the second stage of demographic transition.|
Birthdate continues to be very high while the death rate declined to about 20 per 1000.
It was primarily due to the medical revolution.
The conditions in the decline of the death rate differ from those in Europe. In Europe, it was not because of government policy but because of agriculture and the industrial revolution.
|3. 1951-1981||The phase of the rapid growth of population. |
The death rate fell sharply and the birth rate continues to be high.
|4. 1981-2001 |
|This was a phase of declining growth rate and after the 2001 census it clear that India had entered the third demographic face where along with the declining death rate the birth rate also has declined therefore there is a reduction in both fertility and mortality rate.|
|5. 2001 onwards||The population is consistent and rapidly decreasing growth rates. |
The process is now considered irreversible.
Spatial pattern of growth rates
The growth pattern of India is not uniform everywhere.
There is a north-south demographic divide where the northern Hindi states and the agricultural Interland have most of the adverse demographic attributes.
Kerala, Tamilnadu, and Andhra Pradesh have stabilized or are at near stabilization whereas Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have high growth rates.
The highest growth rate is in Bihar (25.07%) because of poverty and traditional mindset. The growth rate of Uttar Pradesh with a 200 billion population is greater than 20%. Uttar Pradesh is likely to stabilize in another 50 years which can impact the overall demographic performance of the country.
The second fastest-growing state is Jammu and Kashmir (23.7 percent). Its high growth is because of a low base. In the 2001 census, Nagaland had a growth rate of 64 % because of the low base effect.
The Hindi belt of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan account for 40% of India's population, and Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Maharashtra have greater than 100 million each. So these large states are the key to India's population stabilization.
Some of the fastest-growing units in India are urban centers like Delhi, Chandigarh, Daman and Diu, Dadra & Nagar haveli. It is because of high in-migration and smaller base.
Reasons for high growth rate in India
- Patriarchal society
- The desire for a male child (Meta son preference)
- Lack of awareness
- Low education
- Status of women
- Reproductive rights for women
Education level of mother
There is a correlation between education level of mother and total fertility rate
|Education level of mother||Total fertility rate|
|Below middle school||2.5|
|7th to 10th standard||2.2|
|Matriculation and above||2.08|
This correlation is consistent with the Cairo declaration of 1994. It was called the international conference of population development where the status and health of the mother were accepted as the defining component in population stabilization.
Infant mortality rate
IMR plays an important role because of the insecurity of infant and child mortality, families go for more children. IMR is also related to women's status.
- Early marriage.
- High frequency of birth.
- Decreased spacing between children.
- Women and child malnutrition.
The cultural correlation between the high birth rate and the high total fertility rate is not consistent for comparison at the level of communities. It is incorrect to conclude that the conservative communities like Muslims and Catholics who have historically opposed abortion and are a lead to oppose birth control methods have high growth rates and total fertility rates because of religious considerations.
For example, despite the Catholic majority state, Kerala has the most favorable demographic parameters, and Malappuram in Kerala despite the Muslim majority as a total fertility rate of 1.4. It is not without coincidence Malappuram has been the best-performing state district in female literacy. In comparison, the average total fertility rate in UP is 3 and for both Hindus and Muslims it is comparable ie. 2.93 and 3.2 respectively.
According to National population policy 2001, the following are the immediate factors in high growth rate
- Large population base in the reproductive age and very young population
- High IMR
- Low couple protection ratio
India has 17% of the world population in 2.4 % of the world's land area. India is one of the countries under primary pockets in South Asia. We are the 31st most densely populated country and our density has increased.
Density is however not uniform across the country it is higher along river basin and agricultural hinterland. Because of favorable agricultural resources and because of higher growth rates in traditional rural areas of India.
|West Bengal||1030 /sqkm|
|Uttar Pradesh||828 /sqkm|
The highest density is in urban centers and cities because of in-migration in search of employment opportunities.
Regions that have adverse physical conditions like climate, fewer resources, terrain, and very less agricultural potential have low population density.
|arunachal Pradesh||17 /sqkm|
|Jammu and Kashmir||56 /sqkm|