Curbing population growth

Updated: May 17, 2011, 10:55 AM IST

Rashi Aditi Ghosh /Zee Research Group

India has achieved about four per cent decline in decadal population growth in the 2011 Census but it has performed poorly than seven most populous countries in the world like Russian Federation (-4.29%), Japan (1.1%), China (5.43%), USA (7.26%), Brazil (9.39%), Indonesia (15.05%) and Bangladesh (16.76%).

India can find some solace in the fact that two of the most populous nations like Nigeria (26.84%) and Pakistan (24.78%) have recorded higher decadal growth rate than India, according to the 2011 Census report.

India in the latest decade registered a decline in the growth of population at 17.64 percent, a decrease of 3.90 percentage points over 2001 (21.54%), which is said to be the sharpest dip since independence.

Earlier in 1911 and 1921, the growth as shown in latest Census has been put at 5.75 per cent and 0.31 per cent. However, the Census department does not recognize these two as the benchmarks and instead treats 1931 as the start point for study of population growth.

The 2011 Census while giving country-wise population details does not specify the population numbers country-wise as of 2001.

The latest Census, however, highlights other interesting global comparisons to put the Indian population growth in perspective.

As a matter of fact the population of India at the turn of the twentieth century was around 238.4 million which has increased by more than four times in a period of one hundred and ten years to reach 1210 million in 2011. During the last ten years alone, Indian population has increased by about 181 million.

The decadal growth of India has been observed at 5.755 per cent in 1911, 0.31 per cent in 1921, 11.00 per cent in 1931, 14.32 per cent in 1941, 13.31 per cent in 1951, 21.64 per cent in 1961, 24.80 per cent in 1971, 24.66 per cent in 1981, and 23.87 per cent in 1991.

While 27.9 million more people were added between the decades 1981-1991 than between 1971-1981, this number declined to 19.2 million for the decades between 1981-1991 and 1991-2001. In the year 1901 India’s population was at 238.40 million which over the years have increased to 1210.19 million in 2011.