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Indian population

Study Material > Economics

Population of India

  • Population, for any country, is an asset if it can be converted into human resource and employed gainfully. India is maintaining 18 % of the world population with 1.8 % of the world income and just 2.4 % of the total world area.

Theories of Population

  • Malthusian Theory of Population
    1. Thomas Robert Malthus was the first economist to propose a systematic theory of population.  He articulated his views regarding population in his famous book, Essay on the Principle of Population(1798), for which he collected empirical data to support his thesis.
    2. According to this theory, Supply of food grains increase in arithmetic progression (A arithmetic progression is 1, 2, 3, 4, etc..) while population if unchecked grows in geometric progression(A geometric progression is 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc).
    3. This scenario of arithmetic food growth with simultaneous geometric human population growth predicted a future when humans would have no resources to survive on.  To avoid such a catastrophe, Malthus urged controls on population growth.
    4. The chief preventive check envisaged by Malthus was that of "moral restraint", which was seen as a deliberate decision by men to refrain "from pursuing the dictate of nature in an early attachment to one woman", i.e. to marry later in life than had been usual and only at a stage when fully capable of supporting a family. This, it was anticipated, would give rise to smaller families and probably to fewer families, but Malthus was strongly opposed to birth control within marriage and did not suggest that parents should try to restrict the number of children born to them after their marriage.
    5. Malthus was clearly aware that problems might arise from the postponement of marriage to a later date, such as an increase in the number of illegitimate births, but considered that these problems were likely to be less serious than those caused by a continuation of rapid population increase.



 Optimum Theory of Population

  • This theory states that in every country, there is an optimum level of population. “The optimum population is that, which gives the maximum income per head.” If the population exceeds the optimum level, there is the problem of over population.
  • The theory is based on the concept of balance in various resources. If there is balance between various resources, per capita income will be maximum, but if there is imbalance between these resources, per capita income will be less than the maximum.

Theory of Demographic Transition

  • The "Demographic Transition" is a model that describes transition of population from high birth and death rates to lower birth and death rates as a country or region develops from a pre-industrial to an industrialized economic system.
  • The theory was proposed in 1929 by the American demographer Warren Thompson, who observed changes, or transitions, in birth and death rates in industrialized societies over the past two hundred years or so. This theory was later developed and modified by others.
  • According to this theory, all countries pass through stages of demographic transition, which is accompanied by industrialisation and economic development.
  • Most developed countries have completed the demographic transition and have low birth rates; most developing countries are in the process of this transition.There are four stages of transition.
    1. First Stage (Stage of high birth rate and high death rate)
      1. In this stage birth and death rates are both high but the difference between them is quite low. Hence, Population growth is slow and almost stagnant.
      2. Reason: 
        1. Birth rate is high as a result of:
          • Religious beliefs.
          • Lack of family planning need for workers in agriculture
          • High Infant Mortality Rate
          • Need for workers in agriculture
          • Children as economic assets
        2. Death rates were very high at all times in this stage for a number of reasons, including:
          • Lack of Education and knowledge of disease prevention and cure
          • Lack of healthcare
          • Lack of clean water and sanitation
          • War
          • Famine
          • Competition for food from predators such as rats
          • Water and food borne diseases cholera, typhoid, typhus, dysentery, and diarrhea
          • Outbreaks of infectious diseases such as influenza, scarlet fever, or plague
    2. Second Stage (Stage of high birth rate and low death rate)
      1. It is called the stage of Population Explosion. In this stage the death rate is decreasing while the birth rate remains high.
      2. Due to the widening gap between the birth and death rates, population grows at an exceptionally high rate and that is why it has been called the population explosion stage.
      3. Reason: 
        1. Death rate falls as a result of
          • Decreased infant mortality rate due to better medical facility
          • Agricultural and industrial productivity increases
          • Means of transport and communication develops
          • Improved sanitation
          • Improved hygiene
          • Improved health care( E.g availability of vaccine for deadly disease etc)
          • Increased use of better technology
          • Mechanization and urbanisation takes place
          • Despite of these developments there is no substantial change in the attitude of the people and hence birth rate stays high i.e., economic development has not yet started affecting the birth rate.
    3. Third Stage (Stage of declining birth rate and low death rate)
      1. In this stage, birth rate as compared to the death rate declines more rapidly. As a result, population grows at a diminishing rate.
      2. This stage witnesses a fall in the birth rate while the death rate stays constant because it has already declined to the lowest minimum.
      3. Population continues to grow fast because death rate stops falling whereas birth rate though declining but remains higher than death rate.
      4. Birth rate declines due to:
        1. The impact of economic development
        2. Changed social attitudes
        3. Increased facilities for family planning.
        4. Increased mechanisation reduces need for workers
        5. Changing status of women
    4. Fourth Stage (Stage of low birth rate and low death rate)
      1. It is called the stage of stationary population. Birth rate and death rate are both at a low level which leads to a stationary or declining population as in many Western European nations at present.


  • Most of the developed countries of the world such as United States and European countries have passed through first three stages, and are now in stage four.
  • Other regions are experiencing other stages, such as Sub-Saharan Africa, which is experiencing rapid growth and a high death rate, is in stage 1 or 2.
  • Latin America is mostly in stage 3, with dropping birth rates, but having a relatively young population.
  • The term population explosion means the rapid increase in population which outstrip the growth of national income and retards the growth in Per Capita Income. It hampers the Savings and Investments.

Population trend in India

  • Population trend in India has been divided into four phases:
    1. 1891-1921: This is the period of stable population. In these years, calamities and epidemics, like famines, plague, malaria etc took a heavy toll of human lives.
    2. 1921-1951: This is the period of sustained growth rate of population. Since 1921, population has been increasing at a rapid rate. The trend of growth of population in India, since 1921, has been consistently on the rise. This increase was higher than that of the previous thirty years.
    3. 1951-1981: This is the period of high growth rate. In this period population increased at a very fast rate due to decrease in death rate and improved means which sustains high birth rate. This phase can be termed as phase of population explosion in India.
    4. 1981- to present: This is the period of high growth with definite signs of slowing down.

1921, the year of Great Divide

  • The Year 1921 is a year of the great divide in the demographic history of India when mortality rate started to decline which leads to an acceleration in the rate of population growth. After independence, the rate of population growth accelerated considerably because of extension of Public Health Services. The growth rate was at its peak in the period 1961-81. Hence due to the consistent rising trend of growth of population in India since 1921, Census Commissioner has referred to the year 1921 as 'Year of Great Divide'.
  • Broadly speaking rapid population growth in India is due to:
    1. High birth rate.
    2. Relatively low death rate.
  • We have been successful in declining the death rates but the same cannot be said for birth rates. Due to various government efforts fertility rate has been declined drastically but still, it is much higher than many countries. Some of the reasons for rapid population growth which are interrelated with the above cause are :
    1. Early Marriage and Universal Marriage System: Marriage is a sacred obligation for both men and women at their reproductive age. Who doesn’t have any child faces the brunt of society in a very cruel manner. So many times for the comfortability of girl’s father, girls get married earlier before their legal marriage age of minimum 18 years due to which reproductive age of a girl increases. 
    2. Poverty and Illiteracy: Uneducated families think that large family members will bring more income, as they will start working at an early age. Due to this notion, they always have large family members. But because of illiteracy, they end up being a poor family for whole life. 
    3. Age old cultural norm: Peoples in a male-dominated society thinks a male child is a must for their successor and for so many religious practices in which male are preferred. This age-old thought puts considerable pressure on the parents to produce children till a male child is born. 
    4. Illegal migration: Due to political disturbance and for better livelihood so many illegal migrants enter in our country from Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar etc.

National Population Policy

  • National population policy aims at reducing birth rate and improving the quality of life.
  • In 1952, India was the first country in the world to launch a National Programme, emphasizing family planning. In 1966, several important developments concerning the family planning programme took place.
  • A full fledged Department of Family Planning was established within the Ministry of Health, which was designated as the ministry of Health and Family Planning, and a Minister of the cabinet rank was placed in its charge. A cabinet committee of Family Planning, initially headed by the Prime Minister and later by the Finance Minister, was constituted at the central level.
  • In 1976, during emergency, the Government of India announced National Population Policy, 1976. 

National Population Policy 1976

  • The Government of India declared the First Comprehensive Population in 1976. The main aim of this policy was to bring down birth rate. In this policy, State Governments were allowed to formulate legislative measures regarding compulsory sterilization. People were against compulsory sterilization, but this policy created awareness about small family norms.

Revised Population Policy of 1977

  • In 1977, government revised the earlier policy of year 1976. In this revised Population Policy, government changed the name of Family Planning Policy as Family Welfare Policy.

Features of revised Population Policy of 1977

  1. No coercion was to be used for family planning. The public was motivated and induced to undertake various measures of birth control.
  2. The minimum age of marriage was raised to 18 years for females and 21 years for males.
  3. Provision of monetary compensation to those, who go in for permanent measures of birth control such as sterilisation.
  4. Use of education system to create awareness of the population problem.

New National Population Policy (2000)

  • Some features:
    1. Appointment of a National Commission on population, presided over by the Prime Minister. The Chief Ministers of the states, administrators of union territories and other related ministers to be its members.
    2. State Commissions on Population headed by Chief Ministers.
    3. The new policy to be implemented by the panchayats, municipalities and non-government organisations.

Demographic Gap

  • Demographic gap is the difference between birth rate and death rate that develops when a country undergoes demographic transition. In a demographic transition, as the country develops and the living conditions improve, demographic gap changes accordingly. The demographic gap is small during the initial and final stages, while it becomes large during the middle stages.

 Density of Population

  • Density of population refers to average number of people living per square kilometre. Density of population in a country is measured by dividing its total population by total land area.
  • In 2011 , India’s total population was 121 crore. Hence India accommodates 121 crore peoples in 32.80 lakh sq Km of area.
  • According to Census 2011, the population density of India has gone up to 382 persons per square kilometer from 325 persons per square kilometer in 2001.
  • India accounts for a meagre 2.4 percent of the world surface area and it supports and sustains 17.5 percent of the world population.
  • Three most populous countries of the world viz. China (1.34 billion), India (1.21 billion) and USA (308.7 million) account for 40% population of the world.
  • The population of India is almost equal to the combined population of U.S.A., Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan.

Factors affecting population density

  • In any region, the density of a population is influenced by more than one factor. Some of the factors which affect the population density are grouped into two broad categories are: 
    1. Physical factors.
    2. Socio-economic and political factors.

Physical factors

  • It is one of the main factors which affect the density of a population. It includes landform, climate, soil, etc.
  • Landforms: It influences the distribution pattern of the population to a great extent. As we know that development of economic and life-sustaining activities are easy on plains in comparison to high altitude regions. Development of agriculture, water supply, road and transport, settlement of industries etc are easy then high altitude areas. We can understand this by observing population density of Indo Gangetic Plain which is densely populated then hilly areas of the north east region.
  • Climate: Temperature and precipitation is another factor which affects the distribution of a population. Extreme types of climate where there are too much heat and too much cold are tough to support life. And hence they are sparsely populated as compared to the moderate climatic region. As we can see Himalayan regions, Western Rajasthan etc are sparsely populated due to their extreme climate.
  • Soil: Soil supports agriculture. A large proportion of our population lives in villages which directly and indirectly earn their livelihood through agriculture which is determined by the quality of the soil. Moreover, agricultural products also support a large number of Industries.  That is why the alluvial region of northern plains and coastal and deltaic regions of India continue to support high densities of population.

Socio-economic and Political factor

  • This is also a major factor which determines the population density of a region. Some of the factors under this are:
    1. Socio-economic factor: Region having a variety of job for all supports a large proportion of the population. A large number of peoples migrates to such places in search of lucrative jobs. Highly industrialised urban areas, IT hubs, etc supports a high density of population in comparison to rural areas where no such scope exists.
    2. Political factor: War torn area are sparsely populated then a peaceful with a good quality administered area.

Real Population Density

  • Real population density or physiological density measures the population per sq km – of arable land available in a country. This measure signifies the feeding potential of the country to its citizens. India’s physiological density is much lower compared to many other countries due to the availability of large arable land.

Index of Industrialisation

  • Ratio of urban population to the total population of a country is an index of the level of industrialisation of that country. As industries gather momentum in a country, ratio of urban population goes on rising. India is an agricultural country, so ratio of urban population is less than the rural population. Himachal Pradesh (89.96%) has the largest proportion of rural population, while Delhi (97.5%) has the highest proportion of urban population.


  • In India, urban centers are defined as under:
    1. All places with a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee, etc.
    2. All other places which satisfied the following criteria:
    3. A minimum population of 5,000.
    4. At least 75 per cent of the male main working population engaged in non-agricultural pursuits; and
    5. A density of population of at least 400 persons per sq. km.
  • Above definition was used in the census of 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011.
  • Classification of Urban Areas
    1. Class I: Population of 100,000 and above
    2. Class II: Population of 50,000 to 99,999
    3. Class III: Population of 20,000 to 49,999
    4. Class IV: Population of 10,000 to 19,999
    5. Class V : Population of 5,000 to 9,999
    6. Class VI : Population of less than 5,000
  • Mega Cities: Among the Million plus UAs/Cities, there are three very large UAs with more than 10 million persons in the country, known as Mega Cities. These are Greater Mumbai UA (18.4 million), Delhi UA (16.3 million) and Kolkata UA (14.1 million). The largest UA in the country is Greater Mumbai UA followed by Delhi UA. Kolkata UA which held the second rank in Census 2001 has been replaced by Delhi UA. (UA = Urban Agglomerate).
  • The first category of urban units is known as Statutory Towns. These towns are notified under law by the concerned State/UT Government and have local bodies like municipal corporations, municipalities, municipal committees, etc., irrespective of their demographic characteristics. Examples: Vadodara (M Corp.), Shimla (M Corp.) etc.
  • The second category of Towns is known as Census Town. These were identified on the basis of Census 2001 data.
  • Urban Agglomeration (UA): An urban agglomeration is a continuous urban spread constituting a town and its adjoining outgrowths (OGs), or two or more physically contiguous towns together with or without outgrowths of such towns. An Urban Agglomeration must consist of at least a statutory town and its total population (i.e. all the constituents put together) should not be less than 20,000 as per the 2001 Census. In varying local conditions, there were similar other combinations which have been treated as urban agglomerations satisfying the basic condition of contiguity. Examples: Greater Mumbai UA, Delhi UA, etc.
  • Out Growths (OG): An Out Growth (OG) is a viable unit such as a village or a hamlet or an enumeration block made up of such village or hamlet and clearly identifiable in terms of its boundaries and location. Some of the examples are railway colony, university campus, port area, military camps, etc., which have come up near a statutory town outside its statutory limits but within the revenue limits of a village or villages contiguous to the town. While determining the outgrowth of a town, it has been ensured that it possesses the urban features in terms of infrastructure and amenities such as pucca roads, electricity, taps, drainage system for disposal of waste water etc. educational institutions, post offices, medical facilities, banks etc. and physically contiguous with the core town of the UA. Each such town together with its outgrowth(s) is treated as an integrated urban area and is designated as an ‘urban agglomeration’.

Reasons for rise in urban population in India

  • Urban population of India is expanding rapidly. Besides the fertility rate one of the main reason for rapid growth of urban population is migration of peoples towards urban areas. Broadly speaking this migration is due to two main reasons:
    1. Migration effect “Push” factor
    2. Attraction effect “Pull” factor
  • Migration effect: Rural life in India, suffers from many difficulties, such as, less opportunities of employment, low level of income, lack of educational and training facilities, lack of health and medical facilities etc. In order to get rid of these difficulties, rural people migrate to urban areas.
  • Attraction effect: Urban living has its own attraction, such as educational, medical and health care facilities, job opportunities, development of railways, recreation centers, restaurants and parks etc. Rural people are very much tempted by these allurements and decide to settle in towns and cities. According to a report by National Sample Survey, main cause of rural males to migrate to urban areas is employment and for rural females, it is wedding ties.

Census of India

  • The first population census in British India was conducted in 1872. Since India's independence in 1947, a census has been conducted every 10 years, the first occurring in 1951. The census in India is conducted by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner under the Ministry of Home Affairs and is one of the largest administrative tasks conducted by a federal government.
  • The latest population figures are based on data from the 2011 census of India which was the 15th National Census of the country. In 2011 census government has also given its approval for a separate socio-economic and caste census.
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli have the fastest growth rate of 55.5 percent, followed by Daman and Diu (53.5 percent), Meghalaya (27.8 percent) and Arunachal Pradesh (25.9 percent). Nagaland recorded the lowest growth rate of -0.5 percent.
  • India has 641,000 inhabited villages and 72.2 percent of the total population resides in these rural areas.
  • The five states of Uttar Pradesh,  Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and  Madhya Pradesh account for almost half (47.90 percent) of the total Indian population.
  • The state with highest population density: Bihar (1106) followed by Paschim Banga (1029).
  • The state with lowest population density: Arunachal Pradesh (17).
  • UT with highest population density: Delhi (11297).
  • The state with highest population: Uttar Pradesh.

Religion-wise population data (2011)


% of the total population


79.8 %











Other Religions & Persuasions (ORP)


Religion Not Stated


  • State with highest proportions of Hindus: Himachal Pradesh (95.4%).
  • State with the lowest proportion of Hindus: Mizoram (3.6%).
  • State with highest proportions of Muslims: Jammu and Kashmir.
  • State with the lowest proportion of Muslims: Mizoram (1.1%).
  • State with highest proportions of Christians: Nagaland (90.0%).
  • State with highest proportions of Sikhs: Punjab (59.9%).

Scheduled Castes

  • Total population of Scheduled Castes: 16.2 %
  • State with the highest proportion of Scheduled Castes: Punjab (28.9%)
  • State with the lowest proportion of Scheduled Castes: Mizoram.
  • District with the highest proportion of Scheduled Castes: Cooch-Bihar, Paschim Banga (50.1%).
  • District with the lowest proportion of Scheduled Castes: Lawngtlai, Mizoram (0.01%).

Scheduled Tribes

  • Total population of Scheduled Tribes: 8.2%
  • State with the highest proportion of Scheduled Tribes: Mizoram (94.5%).
  • State with the lowest proportion of Scheduled Tribes: Goa (0.04%).
  • District with the highest proportion of Scheduled Tribes: Sarchhip, Mizoram (98.1%)
  • District with the lowest proportion of Scheduled Tribes: Hathras, Uttar Pradesh (0.01%).

Sex Ratio in India

  • Sex ratio is used to describe the number of females per 1000 of males. All over the world, males out number the females. Sex Ratio in the world is 986 females to 1000 males. According to the Population Census of 2011, the population ratio in India in 2011 is 940 females per 1000 of males. The Sex Ratio 2011 shows an upward trend of 7 points from the census 2001 data. Census 2001 revealed that there were 933 females to that of 1000 males.
  • According to the experts, violent treatments meted out to the girl child at the time of the birth are the major cause for the decrease of the female birth ratio in India. Illiteracy is one of the main reasons for such a cruel attitude towards the girl. It has been found that during independence the sex ratio in India was almost normal, but thereafter it started showing gradual signs of decrease. Though the sex ratio in India has gone through commendable signs of improvement in the past 10 years, there are still some states where the sex ratio is still low and is a cause of concern. Haryana has the lowest sex ratio in India and the figure shows a number of 877 of females to that of 1000 of males. 
  • Puducherry and Kerala are the only two states where the number of females is more than the number of men, while the regions of Daman and Diu and Haryana have the lowest density of female population. Kerala houses a number of 1084 females to that of 1000 males.

 Child Sex Ratio

  • Child sex ratio (0-6 age group) has been recorded as 914 girl child per 1000 male child. Child sex ratio dropped in the country by 13 points between 2001 and 2011 which is 927 in 2001 but dropped to 914 in 2011.
  • In rural areas, the fall was higher at 15 points from 934 in 2001 to 919 in 2011. While in urban areas, it fell by 4 points from 906 in 2001 to 902 in 2011.
  • Andaman and Nicobar islands has the highest child sex ratio in rural areas (975), while Nagaland has the highest in urban areas (979).

Literacy rate

  • For the purposes of Census, a person aged 7 and above who can both read and write with understanding in any language is treated as literate. A person who can only read but cannot write is not literate. In the census prior to 1991, children below five years of age were necessarily treated as illiterates.
  • The overall literacy rate as per 2011 census is 04% and was 68.91% in rural areas and 84.98% in urban areas. The literacy rate in 2001 was 65%. The literacy rate is 82.14%for males and 65.46%for females.
  • The highest literacy rate was in Kerala (93.91%) while it is lowest in Bihar (63.82%).
  • The lowest literacy rate was in Bihar.
  • The lowest female literacy rate was in Rajasthan , it was only 52.66%.
  • The increase in literacy rates was 21 points (total) and increase in sex ratio is 7 points while child sex ratio is decreased by 13 points.

Linguistic Demography of India


Per cent of speakers














Productivity of a Population

  • From economic point of view, structure of a population is the determining factor for its productivity.
  • Population in the age group of 15-60 years is known as working population. While population in the age group of 0-14 years and above 60 years is known as non-working/dependent population.
  • If the percentage of working population is greater then non-working population then it is beneficial for the economic development of the country.
  • In our country age group of 0-14 years is high and the age group of 60 years is increasing which also indicates increasing life expectancy.

Demographic Dividend

  • Demographic dividend, as defined by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) means, “the economic growth potential that can result from shifts in a population’s age structure, mainly when the share of the working-age population (15 to 64) is larger than the non-working-age share of the population (14 and younger, and 65 and older).” 
  • In other words, it is “a boost in economic productivity that occurs when there are growing numbers of people in the workforce relative to the number of dependents.” 
  • Demographic dividend is an opportunity before a country with a high share of population between the ages of 15 and 64 to boost economic growth.
  • The stage of demographic dividend is reached when: 
    1. Country experiences lower fertility rates, which mean that the dependent population below the age of 15 years is low.
    2. The population above 64 years of age is also low due to the lower life expectancies of the older generations.
    3. The population between 15-64 years is high, due to the higher birth rates in the previous generation.
  • Due to the above mentioned reasons the dependency ratio (share of population not engaged in productive employment and dependent on others) is reduced and thus, and economic growth gets boosted.
  • Demographic dividend helps economic growth in three ways:
    1. Working population has a higher saving rate, which means higher investment and growth.
    2. Low fertility means females get freedom to work (lesser burden of taking care of children), which boosts economic production. It also, promotes gender equality.
    3. With lesser children, people spend more on their health, leading to improvement in productivity.
  • Demographic dividend can only be useful, if it is accompanied by supportive national policies, which improve literacy, provide employment, health care etc.
  • High share of young population in a country can also have negative consequences like social unrest, crime, high divorce rates, etc.
  • In order for economic growth to occur the younger population must have access to quality education, adequate nutrition and health including access to sexual and reproductive health.

 Population pyramid

  • Population Pyramid is a graphical illustration of the different age groups in a population along with the male and female population. The horizontal axis represents the absolute numbers of population, with one side representing the male population and the other side representing the female population. The vertical axis is divided into equal divisions representing different age groups such that it encompasses the entire population of the country/region.
  • The most important demographic characteristic of a population is its age-sex structure. Population pyramid is the most important tool that can be used to visualize sex and age composition of a particular population.
  • Each country will have different fertility or mortality rates hence all country have different population pyramids. However, most population pyramids will be defined as the following:
    1. Expansive
    2. Stationary

Expansive Population

  1. Populations have a larger percentage of people in younger age groups.
  2. This pyramid have large base which indicates that population growth is rapid (high birth rate).
  3. Each younger age group is larger than the group just old to it.
  4. Populations have high fertility rates with lower life expectancies.
  5. It has concave sides, which means a higher death rate.
  6. Many third world countries have expansive population pyramids.

Stationary Population

  1. This pyramids show somewhat equal proportion of people in each age group.
  2. Convex sides mean that death rate is low and life expectancy is high.
  3. The stage at the middle, where the size is much larger than the older age group, represents the ‘baby boomer stage.
  4. Population is stable.

Constrictive Population

  1. It is named so because this pyramid is constricted at the bottom.
  2. Narrower base represents low birth rates and negative population growth. Hence there are a lower percentage of younger people.
  3. Sides are convex which means low death rates and high life expectancy.

Stages of Population Pyramid

  • There are four stages of population pyramid: 
    1. Rapidly Expanding
    2. Expanding
    3. Stationary
    4. Contracting

Rapidly Expanding

  • Wide bases and narrow tops, which indicates high birth rates and high death rates.
  • Populations have a larger percentage of people in younger age groups.
  • Populations have high fertility rates with lower life expectancies.
  • It has concave sides, which means a higher death rate.
  • Many third world countries have expansive population pyramids.


  • Populations have a larger percentage of people in younger age groups.
  • This pyramid have large base which indicates that population growth is rapid (high birth rate).
  • Death rate is still high but slightly less than rapidly expanding pyramid.
  • Each younger age group is larger than the group just old to it.
  • Populations have high fertility rates with lower life expectancies.
  • Many third world countries have expansive population pyramids.


  • This pyramids show somewhat equal proportion of people in each age group.
  • Convex sides mean that death rate is low and life expectancy is high.
  • The stage at the middle, where the size is much larger than the older age group, represents the ‘baby boomer stage.
  • Population is stable.


  • It is named so because this pyramid is contracted at the bottom.
  • Narrower base represents low birth rates and negative population growth. Hence there are a lower percentage of younger people.
  • Sides are convex which means low death rates and high life expectancy.
  • Contracting population pyramids show declining birth rates, since each succeeding age group is getting smaller and smaller.

 National population register

  • The National Population Register (NPR) is a Register of usual residents of the country. It is being prepared at the local (Village/sub-Town), sub-District, District, State and National level under provisions of the Citizenship Act 1955 and the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. It is mandatory for every usual resident of India to register in the NPR.
  • A usual resident is defined for the purposes of NPR as a person who has resided in a local area for the past 6 months or more or a person who intends to reside in that area for the next 6 months or more.


  • The objective of the NPR is to create a comprehensive identity database of every usual resident in the country. The database would contain demographic as well as biometric particulars.
  • It would strengthen security of the country and also help in better targeting of the benefits and services under the government schemes/programmes, improve planning, and prevent identity theft.

Census 2011

  • Census 2011 is the 15th Census of India since 1872
  • This time, approval was also given by government for the first post-independence, socio-economic and caste census. Which is carried out by the State Governments with the financial and technical support of the Government of India.
  • Census 2011 covers:

Important terms

  • Life Expectancy : Life expectancy refers to the average life of the people of a country.
  • Crude Birth Rate : Number of births per 1000 population in a given year is called crude birth rate.
  • Crude Death Rate : Number of deaths per 1000 population in a given year is called crude death rate.
  • Dependency Ratio : Ratio between dependent populations (0-14 years of age and above 60 years of age) to the total active population (15-59 years of age) is called dependency ratio.
  • Natural Growth Rate : The difference between birth rate and death rate in a given year is called natural growth rate of population. It provides an estimate of size of population in a given year.
  • Neo-Natal Mortality Rate : Number of deaths of children below the age of 1 month per 1000 live births in a given year is called neonatal mortality rate.
  • Infant Mortality Rate(IMR) : Number of deaths of children below the age of 1 year per 1000 live births in a given year is called infant mortality rate.
  • Child Mortality Rate : Number of deaths of children in the age group of 0-14 years per 1000 infants in a given year is called child mortality rate.
  • Maternal Deaths : Maternal Deaths are defined as the number of women who die during pregnancy or within 42 days of the termination of pregnancy.
  • Maternal Mortality Rate(MMR) : Maternal Mortality Rate are defined as the number of maternal deaths per one Lake live births in a given year is called maternal mortality rate.
  • Couple Protection Rate : Percentage of couples in their productive age and using some contraceptive is called couple protection rate.
  • Life Expectancy at Birth : Expected average life of children born during a specified period is called life expectancy at birth.
  • Literacy Rate : Percentage of population in the age group of 7 years and above, which can read, write and understand a language, is called literacy rate.
  • Total Fertility Rate : Number of live births in the entire reproductive period (15-49 years of age) of a woman is called total fertility rate.
  • Replacement Level : Total Fertility Rates at which new born girls would have an average of exactly one daughter over their lifetimes. It means women would have just enough babies to replace themselves.
  • Work Participation Rate : Percentage of working population in the total population is called work participation rate.

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