•  The population is a dynamic phenomenon. The numbers, distribution, and composition of the population are constantly changing.

  • This is the influence of the interaction of the three processes, namely — births, deaths, and migrations.

Population Growth

  •  Growth of population refers to the change in the number of inhabitants of a country/territory during a specific period of time.

  •  Such a change can be expressed in two ways: i n terms of absolute numbers and in terms of percentage change per year.

  •  The absolute number added each year or decade is the magnitude of the increase . It is obtained by simply subtracting the earlier population (e.g. that of 2001) from the later population (e.g. that of 2011). It is referred to as the absolute increase.

  • The rate or the pace of population increase is the other important aspect.
    It is studied in percent per annum, e.g. a rate of increase of 2 percent per annum means that in a given year, there was an increase of two persons for every 100 persons in the base population.
    This is referred to as the annual growth rate.

  • Figures(a) and (b) reveal that from 1951 to 1981, the annual rate of population growth was steadily increasing; which explains the rapid increase in population from 361 million in 1951 to 683 million in 1981.

  • Since 1981, however, the rate of growth started declining gradually.

  • During this period, birth rates declined rapidly.

  • It is essential to realize that India has a very large population.

  • When a low annual rate is applied to a very large population, it yields a large absolute increase.

  • When more than a billion people increase even at a lower rate, the total number being added becomes very large.

  • India’s annual increase in population is large enough to neutralize efforts to conserve the resource endowment and environment.

  • The declining trend of the growth rate is indeed a positive indicator of the efforts of birth control. 

Processes of Population Change/Growth

  • There are three main processes of change in population: birth rates, death rates, and migration.

  • The natural increase in population is the difference between birth rates and death rates.

  • The birth rate is the number of live births per thousand persons in a year.

  • It is a major component of growth because, in India, birth rates have always been higher than death rates.

  • The death rate is the number of deaths per thousand persons in a year.

  • The main cause of the rate of growth of the Indian population has been the rapid decline in death rates.

  • The third component of population growth is migration.

  • Migration is the movement of people across regions and territories.

  • Migration can be internal (within the country) or international (between the countries).

  • Internal migration does not change the size of the population but influences the distribution of the population within the nation.

  • Migration plays a very significant role in changing the composition and distribution of the population.

  • In India, most m igrations have been from rural to urban areas because of the “push” factor in rural areas. These are adverse conditions of poverty and unemployment in the rural areas and the “pull” of the city in terms of increased employment opportunities and better living conditions.

  • Migration is an important determinant of population change.

Adolescent Population 

  • The most significant feature of the Indian population is the size of its adolescent population.

  •  It constitutes one-fifth of the total population of India . Adolescents are, generally, grouped in the age group of 10 to 19 years.

  •  The nutrition requirements of adolescents are higher than those of a normal child or adult. Poor nutrition can lead to deficiency and stunted growth.

  • But in India, the diet available to adolescents is inadequate in all nutrients.

  • A large number of adolescent girls suffer from anemia. Their problems have so far not received adequate attention in the process of development.

  • Adolescent girls have to be sensitized to the problems they confront.

  • Awareness among them can be i mproved through the spread of literacy and education. 

National Population Policy

  • Recognizing that the planning of families would improve individual health and welfare, the Government of India initiated a comprehensive Family Planning Programme in 1952.

  • The Family Welfare Programme has sought to promote responsible and planned parenthood on a voluntary basis.

  • The National Population Policy (NPP) 2000 is a culmination of years of planned efforts.

  • The NPP 2000 provides a policy framework for imparting free and compulsory school education up to 14 years of age, reducing infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000 live births, achieving universal immunization of children against all vaccine-preventable diseases, promoting delayed marriage for girls, and making family welfare a people-centered programme.
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Davneet Singh

Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 14 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.