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Population

Backgrounders

Population : Background & Perspective

By Sandhya Srinivasan

 PopulationThe world has a population of 6 billion. India alone has a population of 1 billion. Despite the fact that India was the first country in the world to have a population policy. But is this mammoth population really cause for alarm? It could be more important to understand the factors that led to this population explosion and the complex links between population growth rates and levels of development. And to acknowledge that India is in the midst of a demographic transition, with fertility rates definitely declining, though not as fast as was expected.

Population Puzzle

The myth of ideal population size

By Nalini Bhanot and Laxmi Murthy

Food scarcities, water stress, civil strife, energy crises, rising pollution, global warming...Everything is blamed on India's billion-plus population. This backgrounder in six parts explains how the myth of 'overpopulation' came to prevail, and why there is no such thing as an 'ideal' population size. By Nalini Bhanot and Laxmi Murthy

  • India is the second most populous country in the world after China.
  • In 2006, India 's population was more than 1 billion (1,119.5 million). This is larger than all of Africa , larger than all of Europe , larger than all of the Americas .
  • India has 2.4% of the world's surface area but sustains 16.7% of the world's population.

Related Articles

»Manufacturing consent for Third World population control By Nalini Bhanot and Laxmi Murthy
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»The classic Catch 22-- population control or development? By Nalini Bhanot and Laxmi Murthy
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»Overpopulation is an excuse for skewed development By Nalini Bhanot and Laxmi Murthy
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Analysis

53 million-plus cities vs 355 million-plus districts

By Rahul Goswami

 Migration

As long as the fixation with high economic growth rates continues, the focus in India will be on urban growth, at the expense of rural resilience, writes Rahul Goswami in this analysis of important data on rural India thrown up by Census 2011

The regular release of data by the Census of India is slowly building up the picture of human development and social sector gaps over the last decade.

Related Articles

»"The two-child norm only leads to female foeticide" By Madhu Gurung
Read More

»Two-child norm puts panchayats under pressure By Rashme Sehgal
Read More

 

Features

Listening now

By Rashme Sehgal

Delhi's sex ratio has become more and more skewed over the years. One study of families which already have one or more daughters shows just 219 girls being born for every 1,000 boy

What is happening to the state of Delhi? It may boast a higher standard of living compared to the rest of India , as also a rich and seminar-trotting elite. Yet when it comes to sex ratios, and the practice of sex selective abortions, it is these rich up-market families that are proving far more intolerant of the girl-child than their rural counterparts.

Read More

Related Articles

»The rot in Orissa's reproductive health services By Manipadma Jena
Read More

»UP's population policy ignores the ground realities By Rashme Sehgal
Read More

»Why 40,000 pregnant women die in UP every year By Rashme Sehgal
Read More

Books & Reports

State of World Population 2003: Investing in Adolescents' Health and Rights

The recently released State of World Population 2003: Investing in Adolescents' Health and Rights report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)examines the challenges and risks faced by the younger generation, all of which have a direct bearing on their physical, emotional and mental well-being

State of World Population 2003: Investing in Adolescents' Health and Rights begins with the statement that, today, millions of adolescents and young people face problems of early marriage and childbearing, incomplete education and the very serious threat of HIV/AIDS.

Read More

Related Articles

»80% of world population will soon be in urban areas By Rashme Sehgal
Read More

»The richer the district, the poorer the sex ratio By Durga Chandran
Read More

»World population will increase from 6.4 billion to 8.9 billion by 2050
Read More

Stories of Change

Population growth rate drops in Kerala's most populous district

The Muslim community in Malappuram district of Kerala are taking to family planning in a big way, a positive indication of social change in the community.

Malappuram district in Kerala, one of the very few districts in the country where Muslims are in a majority (it has a two-thirds Muslim population), has registered a two-digit fall in the decadal rate of population growth. This is significant because Muslims are traditionally considered hostile to family planning.The Muslim community in Malappuram is taking to family planning in a big way -- a positive trend and indicative of the social changes taking place in the community

Read More

Related Articles

»Children by choice, not chance
Read More

»A small effort for a big cause
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»Making health services work
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News

Child sex ratio falls further, according to provisional census data

Provisional data from the 2011 census reveals that the numbers are up but the growth rate is down. And the child sex ratio shows fewer female children born or surviving than in the previous decade

India’s population has reached 1.21 billion (121 crore), indicating a rise of 17.64%, or 181 million, in the last 10 years, according to preliminary results of the 15th census released on March 31, 2011. The provisional population report is arrived at by adding the population as reported by each enumerator for the enumeration block assigned to him/her.

Read More

Related Articles

»'Aadhaar' takes off in Tembhli village
Read More

»Caste census in June-Sept next year
Read More

»UID project comes under fire
Read More

Statistics

Industry-wise Classification of Workers in India

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Proportion of Workers and Non-workers in India

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Population Growth in India since 1901

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Distribution of Population, Sex ratio, Density and Decadal growth rate of Population: 2001

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Population : Background & Perspective

 By Sandhya Srinivasan

The world has a population of 6 billion. India alone has a population of 1 billion. Despite the fact that India was the first country in the world to have a population policy. But is this mammoth population really cause for alarm? It could be more important to understand the factors that led to this population explosion and the complex links between population growth rates and levels of development. And to acknowledge that India is in the midst of a demographic transition, with fertility rates definitely declining, though not as fast as was expected.

Read more...

53 million-plus cities vs 355 million-plus districts

As long as the fixation with high economic growth rates continues, the focus in India will be on urban growth, at the expense of rural resilience, writes Rahul Goswami in this analysis of important data on rural India thrown up by Census 2011

Read more...

"The two-child norm only leads to female foeticide"

By Madhu Gurung

Commenting on the serious decline in the 0-6 sex ratio in India, leading demographer Ashish Bose states that the government's policies are all wrong. The two-child policy has got mixed up with female foeticide. Government slogans like 'Beti ya beta, dono ek hain' make little sense. And financial sops for couples having a girl-child can make no dent in the traditional preference for sons in India

Read more...

Two-child norm puts panchayats under pressure

By Rashme Sehgal

The mandatory two-child norm for panchayat members, that exists in many Indian states, is proving to be more divisive than productive, with many women being forced to step down from their posts despite having little say in the number of children they have

Read more...

Delhi's skewed sex ratio: "24,000 girls go missing every year"

By Rashme Sehgal

Delhi's sex ratio has become more and more skewed over the years. One study of families which already have one or more daughters shows just 219 girls being born for every 1,000 boys

Read more...

The rot in Orissa's reproductive health services

By Manipadma Jena

At a recent public hearing in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district, both men and women told harrowing tales of negligence, bungling and lack of facilities in the state's public healthcare system

Read more...

UP's population policy ignores the ground realities

By Rashme Sehgal

Public health NGOs claim that the Uttar Pradesh Population Policy downplays abortion as a means of family planning, even though 10,000 women in the state die as a result of unsafe abortions every year. Why is this happening? Especially in a state which records 40,000 maternal mortality deaths every year?

Read more...

Why 40,000 pregnant women die in UP every year

By Rashme Sehgal

Uttar Pradesh has a maternal mortality rate of 707 per 100,000. Activists believe that the poor quality of reproductive health services offered by state primary health centres, and the continuing target-based approach to family planning are responsible for this. Our correspondent discovered a trail of botched sterilisations, unsafe abortions, antiquated surgical techniques and hasty cover-ups

Read more...

The sinister targets of Indian health camps

By Sreelatha Menon

At Usayini in Uttar Pradesh, some 'health camps' funded by USAIDS are really places where local midwives are pushed to bring women in for sterilisation. There is absolutely no attempt to provide all-round reproductive health care. This approach flies in the face of India's official policy of target-free family planning

Read more...

Emergency without an Emergency? The two-child norm for panchayat members

By Mohan Rao

Laws to empower dalits, adivasis, OBCs and other sections of the poor through local self-government institutions are being circumvented by anti-democratic population policies. Indeed, if today fertility is to be a marker for citizenship, can the day be far behind when religion is?

Read more...

No kidding: Apex court enforces two-child norm

By Laxmi Murthy

Since the mid-' 90s, the Indian government has attempted to make a shift from the target-oriented approach to family planning to one of advocacy, quality of care and individual choice. Now, with the Supreme Court upholding the two-child norm for contesting panchayat elections and with some states formulating anti-people population policies, there seems to be a return to coercive methods

Read more...

Sex selection: Getting down to business

By Laxmi Murthy

An estimated 20 million females in this country have been eliminated following sex-determination tests. But not a single doctor has been convicted. It is the providers of this technology who have to be held ethically as well as legally accountable. Will the recent amendment to the PNDT Act change anything?

Read more...

Adverse sex ratio results in no brides in Rohtak

By Rashme Arora

Decades of female foeticide and infanticide have finally caught up with the people of Haryana. With the sex ratio in Rohtak district down to 796 females per 1000 males and the rest of the state faring not much better, young men are desperate to get married but cannot find themselves brides

Read more...

Two may not be enough

By M P Basheer

After having consistently followed the 'We Two, Our Two' family planning model, Keralites are now beginning to feel that, 20 years from now, when there are too many elderly, two will be too few. By 2022, around 33 per cent of Kerala's population is expected to be aged over 49, leaving a gap in the support system

Read more...

80% of world population will soon be in urban areas

By Rashme Sehgal

Are nations prepared for this demographic transition, asks UNFPA's State of the World Population 2007 report

Read more...

The richer the district, the poorer the sex ratio

By Durga Chandran

A study by the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics establishes a clear correlation between the number of sonography centres and decline in child sex ratio in Maharashtra. The average sex ratio for districts with more than 100 sonography centres is 901 and for districts with less than 100 sonography centres it is 937

Read more...

World population will increase from 6.4 billion to 8.9 billion by 2050

'The State of the World Population 2004' report examines population, reproductive health and the global effort to end poverty ten years after the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo

Read more...

State of World Population 2003: Investing in Adolescents' Health and Rights

The recently released State of World Population 2003: Investing in Adolescents' Health and Rights report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)examines the challenges and risks faced by the younger generation, all of which have a direct bearing on their physical, emotional and mental well-being

Read more...

State of World Population 2001

The population of the world, which now stands at 6.1 billion, is expected to touch the 9.3 billion mark by 2050. A United Nations Population Fund's state of world population 2001 report explores the relation between population and environment and underlines steps of poverty reduction and women's empowerment

Read more...

Child sex ratio falls further, according to provisional census data

Provisional data from the 2011 census reveals that the numbers are up but the growth rate is down. And the child sex ratio shows fewer female children born or surviving than in the previous decade

Read more...

'Aadhaar' takes off in Tembhli village

Five women and three children from Tembhli village in Maharashtra’s Nandurbar district were among the first people to receive a unique identification number (UID)

Read more...

Caste census in June-Sept next year

A focused, stand-alone, house-to-house caste headcount will be conducted between June and September 2011, after the National Population Register is ready. This decision comes after five months of wrangling among political parties, first over whether to undertake a caste enumeration or not, then over how to go about it

Read more...

UID project comes under fire

The National Advisory Council is the latest group of concerned people to ask for more information and consultation on the unique identification (UID) project that could cost the taxpayer a whopping Rs 1.5 lakh crore

Read more...

Stand-alone caste headcount now a certainty

The government has decided to include caste in the census. Cabinet is expected to endorse the decision shortly

Read more...

Cabinet to fix caste in census

A day after the Group of Ministers gave the go-ahead for caste enumeration in the census, Parliament was informed that the final decision on “how and when” will be taken by the Cabinet

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High population growth rate worries government

The government says the high rate of population growth, particularly in states like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, is a matter of “serious concern” as it is having an adverse impact on the available national resources

Read more...

'Everyone Counts', but India needs to stabilise its population

The theme for this year’s World Population Day is ‘Everyone Counts’, underscoring the importance of data for development. It is estimated that every year India adds the population of Australia to its already staggering 116.1 crore population. The Indian government feels it’s time to stabilise

Read more...

Government stalls decision on caste census

Although it has promised to factor in the sensitivities of political parties on a caste-based census, the Manmohan Singh government is not in any hurry to take a call on the demand

Read more...

Cabinet will decide on caste-based census: PM

The decision to include caste as a parameter in Census 2011 will be taken only after due discussion in Cabinet, says Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

Read more...

Unique ID Authority of India's approach for data collection finalised

A Cabinet panel approves the approach to be adopted by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to collect demographic and biometric data of every citizen

Read more...

Govt buckles, moves backwards to 1931

Backward caste leaders have forced the UPA government to concede their demand for a caste-based census. The government, which had argued for enumeration based on universally accepted demographic tools, gave up in the face of unanimity among politicians over the issue

Read more...

Indian government says no to caste census

Despite growing demands for the collection of caste-wise data during the ongoing census, the Union Cabinet has decided there will be no change in the way the population is being enumerated. At the same time, it is ready to discuss and consider other ways of generating a more accurate statistical picture of the caste composition of Indian society

Read more...

No census in several hundred Chhattisgarh villages

No census exercise will be undertaken in several hundred villages in Chhattisgarh that have been rendered ‘out of bounds’ for government officials, by Naxalite groups

Read more...

'Largest in the history of mankind', India's Census 2011 takes off

For the first time, census enumerators will collect information on ownership of mobile phones, computers, connection to the Internet, and treated/untreated drinking water supply. They will also take fingerprints and photographs of everyone, in a move that is expected to help the government formulate development plans and strengthen the country’s security

Read more...

Satara asks couples to put parenthood on hold

Offering couples cash incentives if they put off having their first child by two years has delayed 2,500 births, claim officials in Satara district

Read more...

11 Indian states, three UTs achieve 'two children per couple' target

Although India has a long way to go in arresting population growth, 11 states and three union territories have shown the way by attaining the ideal of two children per couple. However, states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh will need at least 15-20 years to achieve this goal

Read more...

Population growth rate drops in Kerala's most populous district

The Muslim community in Malappuram district of Kerala are taking to family planning in a big way, a positive indication of social change in the community

Read more...

Children by choice, not chance

The Parivar Seva Sanstha works in 12 states to stop unwanted pregnancies

Read more...

A small effort for a big cause

Arth offers pregnancy, post-natal and contraceptive care to women in 27 villages in Rajasthan

Read more...

Making health services work

Population Services International has launched Saadhan, which aims to provide low-income people with information about a range of products and services related to reproductive and child health

Read more...

FPAI initiatives

The Family Planning Association of India reaches over 7.6 million people

Read more...

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