Imagine a world without people. Impossible to think isn’t it? Without people, there would be no society, economy or a culture. The current population of India is at 132.42 crores (as of 2016) and is the second highest in the world. Also, our population is what contributes to our socio-economic structure and the diverse cultural scenario.
Population Size and Distribution
The current population of India contributes to 17% of the global population. Also, all these people are unevenly distributed across 3.28 million square kilometers of our geographical area.
According to the 2001 Census, Uttar Pradesh is the highest populated state in India with a total number of 166 million people. While on the other hand, states like Sikkim and Lakshadweep have the lowest population of 0.5 million in Sikkim and only 60000 people in the island state of Lakshadweep.
Furthermore, about half of the country’s population is concentrated around five major states- Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. Though Rajasthan is the largest state in size, its population contributes to only 5.5% of the total population of India.
This uneven distribution of the population is due to the varying population density of the country. Population density = the total number of people per unit of area. Also, population density is largely dependent on the geographical location and geological factors. Therefore, states like Assam, Himachal Pradesh, and other hilly terrains have a lower density of population. While the northern plains and coastal areas like Kerala, West Bengal, and Maharashtra have very high population density.
Learn more about the Size and Location of India.
Population Growth and Processes of Population Change
Population growth is determined by the annual growth rate, which is calculated in percent per annum. Like, if there is an increase of two people per 100 people of the population, then the annual growth rate would be 2%.
Another important aspect of population study is the change in population. This is largely influenced by three main factors like birth, death, and migration of people in a given year.
- Birth rate: The number of children born per 1000 people in a year
- Death rate: The number of people died per 1000 people in a year.
What is most noteworthy here that the birth rate in India is and has always been higher than the death rate, which is a major reason behind population growth.
The third and one of the most important factors of population change is migration. Migration can be internal (between states) and international (between countries). While internal migration does not lead to population change, it does affect the population density in the migrated areas.
Learn more about Human Environement here in detail.
Characteristics of the Population of India
One of the most important characteristics of the population of India, the age composition determines the country’s s social and economic structure. The total population is broadly divided into three age groups-
- Children- below 15 years
- Working-age- 15- 59 years
- Aged (Senior)- 59 years and above
This is one of the most important and influential elements of the age composition aspect of the population. Adolescents are people between the age groups of 10-19 years and in our country. Also, about one-fifth of the population comprise adolescent individuals. They are especially relevant to the future growth and are the most significant part of the population of India.
The sex ratio of population is determined by the number of females for every 1000 males. This helps in understanding the equality of males and females in the society, which consequently gives an idea of the nation’s culture. India’s sex ratio has always been on the lower side, until recently. States like Kerala and Union Territory of Pondicherry have higher sex ratio than the major states.
This is yet another important characteristics of the population because the literacy rate of a country determines its economic structure and growth. Literacy, according to the 2001 Census, is the ability of a person of 7 years and above to read and write in any language. The census states the literacy rate of the population of India is almost 74.04% (2016).
The number of people in a population involved in different economic activities helps assess the growth of the country’s economy. The occupational structure is the distribution of the population across different occupations. This is an important element of the population of India. Also, our occupational structure has three broad categories-
- Primary occupation- agriculture, fishing, mining, animal husbandry, forestry etc.
- Secondary occupation- manufacturing, building, construction work etc.
- Tertiary occupation- communication, transportation, administration etc.
Learn more about Human Resources here in detail.
Solved Questions for You
Q: What do you mean by the term density of population of a country?
- The average number of deaths per annum
- The average number of births per annum
- Number of people living per one square kilometer
- None of the above
Answer: The correct option is “C”. Population density is a measurement of population per unit volume or unit area. It is a key geographical term. So the density of population is the number of people living in a particular space, say one kilometer or one mile. It is determined by dividing the population of an area by its land area.
Q: What is the population of India according to the 2011 census?
Answer: According to the census conducted by the government in India the official population of all 28 states and 7 union territories in 2011 was 1.21 billion.