Population (Class 9 Geography Chapter 6 Notes)

Population Density of India/Source: University of Texas
Population plays a pivotal role in the development of any region or country. It is the point of reference from where all other elements are observed. Population factors such as number, distribution, growth and characteristics provide understanding to the basic elements of our environment.

India’s Population Size and Distribution
  1. The population of India stood at 1210.6 million in March 2011, which is 17.5% of the world population and spread over the area of 3.28 million sq km.
  2. Uttar Pradesh is the most populated state with a population of 199 million and accounts for 16% of India's population whereas Sikkim with a population of 0.6 million is the least populated state of India. Lakshadweep with a population of 64,429 is the smallest union territory of India.
  3. Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh forms the 50% of Indian population makeup. Rajasthan is the biggest state in terms of area and has a population share of only 5.5%.

India’s Population Distribution by Density
  1. Population density can be defined as the number of people per unit area. It provides a much clear picture of a region. India is one of the densely populated regions in the world with a population density of 382 persons per sq km.
  2. Bihar with a population density of 1102 persons per sq km is the most densely populated state of India whereas Arunachal Pradesh has lowest population density in India with a population density of 17 persons per sq km.
  3. Madhya Pradesh (236), Rajasthan (201), Chhattisgarh (189), Uttarakhand (189), Meghalaya (132), Himachal Pradesh (123), Manipur (122) and Nagaland (119) have moderate population density less than 250 and more than 100 persons per sq km.
  4. Sikkim (86), Jammu and Kashmir (57), Mizoram (52) and Arunachal Pradesh (17) are least dense states of India.

Population Growth
  1. Population growth refers to change in the number of inhabitants of a region during a specific period of time. The rate at which population changes during that period of time is known as growth rate. It is generally measured annually. Henceforth, it is also referred to as the annual growth rate.
  2. India's population has increased significantly from 361 million in 1951 to 1210.6 million. It increased rapidly from 1951 to 1981, but it has slowed down since 1981. It grew at the annual rate of 1.64% and decadal rate of 17.64 during 2001-2011, which is lowest since 1941-1951 growth rate.
  3. However, it is necessary to understand, even small growth in terms of 1.21 billion people means a significant increase in population. It is large enough to neutralize all of its conservation efforts. India might overtake China as the most populated nation in 2045.

Processes of Population Change
  1. The population change depends upon three major factors. These are 1. birth, 2. death and 3. migration. The natural increase in population is the difference between birth rates and death rates.
  2. The birth rate is the number of newborns per thousand persons a year whereas the death rate refers to the number of deaths per thousand persons a year. Till 1980, India is known for increasing birth rates and decreasing death rates, but in 1981 onward India is experiencing lower birth rates. Thus, lower annual growth since 1981.
  3. Migration is the third major factor behind population growth. Migration can be internal or internal. Internal migration does not change the demography of the nation but can show its effect on state performance. Similarly, international migration does not change the world population but significantly change a country population and have an effect on it.
  4. In India, one can observe migration from rural areas to urban centres and from low developed states to highly developed states. The main reason for this phenomena is to search for better work opportunities.

Characteristics of Population
Age Composition

  1. The age composition refers to the number of people in different age groups in a region.
  2. The population of a region is grouped under three categories. These are 1. Children (population below 15 years),  2. Working Age (population aged between 15-59 years) and 3. Aged (above 60 years).
  3. Children and the aged population can be grouped as a dependent population.
Sex Ratio
  1. Sex ratio can be defined as a number of females per 1000 males. This is one of the important social indicators and allows us to understand the equality between males and females. India sex ratio stands at 943 females per 1000 males.
  2. In terms of states of India, Kerala has the highest sex ratio with 1084 females per 1000 males and Haryana has the lowest sex ratio with 877 females per 1000 males.
  3. In terms of union territories, Puducherry has the best sex ratio with 1038 females per 1000 males and Delhi has the worst sex ratio with 866 females per 1000 males.

Literacy Rate
  1. An educated and informed citizen is an asset to any nation. The literacy rate is one such social indicator which shows the knowledge wealth of a nation.
  2. According to Census of India 2011, a person aged 7 years and above, who can read and write with understanding in any language, is treated as a literate.
  3. The literacy rate of India stands at 73% with male literacy rate at 80.9% and female literacy rate at 64.6%.

Occupational Structure
  1. The population distribution on the basis of occupation is referred to as the occupational structure. Generally, occupation is classified as primary activities, secondary activities and tertiary activities.
  2. Primary activities include agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fishing, mining and quarrying. Secondary activities include manufacturing industry, building and construction. Lastly, tertiary activities include transport, communications, commerce, administration and other services.
  3. The occupational structure tells several key differences between developed and developing nations. Developed nations tend to have a high number of people working in secondary and tertiary occupations whereas, in a developing nation, most of the population is still working in primary activities.
  4. According to the 2011 census, 64% are working in primary activities, 36% in secondary and tertiary activities combined.

Health corresponds to the rise in standard of living. India has shown a tremendous leap in terms of health data. The death rate has come down to 25 per 1000 in 1951 to 7.2 persons per 1000 in 2011. The average life expectancy has increased from 36.7 years in 1951 to 67.9 years in 2011.
However, per capita, calorie consumption has not improved much. Safe water and sanitation are other major problems to tackle.

Adolescent Population
The adolescent is the population group aged between 10 and 19. They are an important resource for future nation-building. Poor nutrition has adverse effects on them. In India, most of the members of this group are suffering from poor nutrition, especially girls, due to various societal reasons. However, with the help of education and awareness, this problem can be tackled and it has been shown in some backward states.

National Population Policy 2000
The Government of India first initiated the family planning programme in 1952. NPP 2000 is the result of such programmes. It provides a framework for free and compulsory education up to 14 years of age, reducing infant mortality, achieving universal immunisation, promoting delayed marriage and making family welfare a people-centred programme.

NPP 2000 and Adolescents
Besides nutrition, NPP 2000 also focus on needs and problems of adolescents such as protection from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and aims to encourage delayed marriage and delayed child-bearing.

Population of India
Total Population1210.6 million (2011)
Area3.28 million sq km
Largest State (Population)Uttar Pradesh (199 million)
Largest State (Area)Rajasthan
Smallest StateSikkim (0.6 million)
Population Density382 persons per sq km
Most Dense StateBihar (1102 persons per sq km)
Least Dense StateArunachal Pradesh (17 persons per sq km)
Annual Growth (2001-2011)1.68%
Decadal Growth (2001-2011)17.64%
Sex Ratio943 females per 1000 males
HighestKerala (1084 females per 1000 males)
LowestHaryana (877 females per 1000 males)
Male Litearacy80.9%
Female Litearacy64.6%
Working Population
Life Expectancy67.9 (2012)