Demography of India – Population of India

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­­India Position & Population Statistics

 The Indian subcontinent located in the South Asia, North of Equator has the 2nd largest arable land.

India occupies 7th Largest land area of 3.28 million sq. km 2.4 % of world, and houses nearly a fifth of the world’s population

India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan; and, by 2030, India’s dependency ratio should be just over 0.4.

India has more than two thousand ethnic groups, and every major religion is represented.

Facts related to India’s population :

  • Even though U.S.A. ranks 3rd in the list of most populated countries of the world, right behind India, its population is just 1/4th of India’s population, not forgetting the fact that U.S.A. is three times larger than India in size. The gap of population between the two is a staggering 746 million.
  • Uttar Pradesh alone has a population of 166 million which is more than the Russian Federation of 146.9 million. Similarly, Orissa has more humans than Canada, and Chhattisgarh than Australia.
  • Even though only 16% of India’s population has access to the Internet, this is 10 times the total population of Australia.

Factors for Population Distribution in India :

 Physical factors such as Climate, Terrain and Availability of water

North Indian Plains, deltas and Coastal Plains have climate suitable for agriculture and fertile plains hence have higher proportion of population

Mountainous and forested regions of southern and central Indian States, Himalayan states, and some of the north-eastern states are less populated

Development of irrigation (Rajasthan), availability of mineral and energy resources (Jharkhand) and development of transport network (Peninsular States) have resulted in moderate to high proportion of population.

Socio-economic and historical factors:

Traditional settled agriculture and early human settlement has resulted in large population in river plains and coastal areas of India

Development of transport and better agricultural development has resulted in large population in North Plains

Industrialization and urbanization:

Metro cities of India have high concentration of population due to industrial development and urbanization.

A large numbers of rural-urban migrants come to these towns

 Phases of Growth of Indian Population

  • It is Referred as a period of stationary phase of growth of India’s population
  • Between 1911-1921 recorded a negative growth rate
  • Both the birth rate and death rate were high
  • Major causes → Poor health and medical services, illiteracy of people at large, & inefficient distribution system of food
  • It is Referred as the period of steady population growth
  • An overall improvement in health and sanitation throughout the country
  • Better transport and communication system improved distribution system
  • The crude birth rate remained high in this period leading to higher growth rate than the previous phase
  • It is Referred as the period of population explosion in India
  • Caused by a rapid fall in the death rate but a high birth rate
  • The average annual growth rate was as high as 2.2 %
  • High birth rate was due to better living conditions & scientific developments
  • Due to increased international immigration from Tibet, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan; India’s growth rate exploded
After 1981 to present
  • the growth rate has started slowing down gradually
  • Due to decline in crude birth rate
  • Due to an increase in the mean age at marriage
  • Improvement in female literacy & empowerment
  • Better scientific developments & access to common man.

Over Population in India

Overpopulation refers to an undesirable condition where human population exceeds the available natural resources to feed and sustain it. Rapid population growth is the bane of the economy of underdeveloped, poor and developing countries in the world.

Causes of overpopulation :

The two main common causes leading to over population in India are:

  • The birth rate is still higher than the death rate. We have been successful in declining the death rates but the same cannot be said for birth rates.
  • The fertility rate due to the population policies and other measures has been falling but even then it is much higher compared to other countries.
  • The above causes are interrelated to the various social issues in our country which are leading to over population.

Early Marriage and Universal Marriage System: Even though legally the marriageable age of a girl is 18 years, the concept of early marriage still prevailing and getting married at a young age prolongs the child bearing age.

Poverty and Illiteracy: Another factor for the rapid growth of population is poverty. Impoverished families have this notion that more the number of members in the family, more will be the numbers to earn income. Illiteracy is thus another cause of over population

Age old cultural norm: Sons are the bread earners of the families in India. This age old thought puts considerable pressure on the parents to produce children till a male child is born. More the better.

Illegal migration: Last but not the least, we cannot ignore the fact that illegal migration is continuously taking place from Bangladesh, Nepal leading to increased population density.

Problems due to Over Population in India

  • Unemployment :
    • Generating employment for a huge population in a country like India is very difficult. The number of illiterate persons increases every year. Unemployment rate is thus showing an increasing trend.
  • Poverty :
    • Rapid growth of population accounts for low standard of living in India. Even the bare necessities of life are not available adequately.
    • Rising population increases poverty in India. People have to spend a large portion of their resources for bringing up of their wards.
    • It results into less saving and low rate of capital formation. Hence improvement in production technique becomes impossible. It means low productivity of labor.
  • Uneven Migration :
    • Population explosion gives rise to a number of social problems. It leads to migration of people from rural areas to the urban areas causing the growth of slum areas.
    • People live in most unhygienic and insanitary conditions.
    • Overcrowding, traffic congestions, frequent accidents and pollution in big cities are the direct result of over-population.
  • Urbanization :
    • Development of infrastructural facilities is unfortunately not keeping pace with the growth of population. The result is lack of transportation, communication, housing, education, healthcare. There has been an increase in the number of slums, overcrowded houses, traffic congestion etc.
  • Increase in crime rate :
    • Unemployment and poverty lead to frustration and anger among the educated youth. This leads to robbery, beggary, prostitution and murder etc.
    • The terrorist activities that we find today in various parts of the country are the reflection of frustration among educated unemployed youth.
  • Environmental Degradation :
    • Rising rate of population growth exerts pressure on land. On the one hand, per capita availability of land goes on diminishing and on the other, the problem of sub-division and fragmentation of holdings goes on increasing. It adversely affects the economic development of the country.
    • Population explosion leads to environmental degradation. Higher birth rate brings more pollution, more toxic wastes and damage to biosphere. Briefly speaking, population explosion hinders the economic development. It should be controlled effectively


Impact on Indian Economy

  • Adverse effects on savings
  • Unproductive investment
  • Slow growth of Per Capita Income
  • Underutilization of labor
  • Growing pressure on land
  • Adverse effect on quality of population
  • Adverse social impact

Steps to Control Population in India:

 The Government of India, politicians, policy makers should initiate a bold population policy so that the economic growth of the country can keep pace with the demands of a growing population.

Major steps which have been already implemented but still need to be emphasized more to control population.

Increasing the welfare and status of women and girls,

Increasing awareness for the use of contraceptives and family planning methods,

Encouraging male sterilization and spacing births,

Free distribution of contraceptives and

Encouraging female empowerment, more health care centers for the poor, to name a few, can play a major role in controlling population.

Experts are hopeful that by increasing public awareness and enlisting strict population control norms by the Government will definitely lead the way for the country’s economic prosperity and control of population.

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