(Sample Materials) Economic Survey & Government’s Plan, Programme & Policies – “Population”


(Sample Materials)
Economic Survey & Government’s Plan, Programme & Policies – “Population”

Contents of the Chapter:

  • Introduction
  • Population Growth- Inter State Comparison
  • Size, Growth and Structure
  • Population Structure
  • Population Growth
  • Sex wise Composition
  • Demographic Transition
  • Population & issues
  • Sources of Demographic Data & their limitations


India, like many other countries, has come a long way from
the initial days of evolution under conditions of high mortality due to famines,
accidents, illness, infections and war, when relatively high levels of fertility
was essential for species survival. Over the years, better equipped in dealing
with diseases and vagaries of nature, it has witnessed significant increase in
life expectancy alongwith steep fall in mortality. Confronted with malthusian
growth, changing social mores and spurred by government interventions, the
population responded by taking steps to reduce fertility, but the continued
increase in number of women in reproductive age has ensured high number of
births each year. Consequently, in the world of seven billion people, India
alongwith China already occupies a place in the Billionaire club and is likely
to overtake China by 2025.

Size, Growth and Structure

The second most populous country on earth, India accounts for
more than 17 per cent of world population mith meagre 2.4 per cent of the world
surface area. In contrast, the USA accounts for 7.2 percent of the surface area
with only 4.5 percent of the world population.

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Indian in World Population

The population of India, at 1210.2 million, is almost equal
to the combined population of U.S.A., Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh
and Japan put together the population of these six countries totals 1214.3
The population of India has increased by more than 181 million during the decade
2001-2011. The absolute addition is slightly lower than the population of
Brazil, the fifth most populations country in the world!
The statewise population distribution during the two recent census indicates
that UP continues to be the most populous state with about 200(16 per cent of
total population) million people. States of Maharashtra and Bihar (9 per cent of
the total population each) have made the transition to more than 100 million
population category. Twenty States and Union Territories now have a population
of over ten million. On the other extreme, there are five States and Union
Territories in the country that are yet to reach the one million mark.

Population Growth

As per UN estimate World population grew at annual rate of
1.23 per cent during 2000-2010 with developing countries like India registering
a higher growth rate. The population of developed countries like Japan & USA
grew at a slower pace with Russia even witnessing a decline in population. China
registered a much lower growth rate (third lowest in top ten most populous
countries behind Russia & Japan, in fact much lower than USA). It is now
estimated that India will overtake china as the most populous country by 2025-30
despite the fact that growth rate has slowed down even in case of India.

Demographic Transition

India, at present, is at stage three of the four stage model*
of demographic transition from stable population with high mortality and
fertility to stable population with low mortality and fertility, with some of
the states/UT’s already into stage four. Percentage decadal growth rate of
population has been declining since 1971-81 at all India level. However,
significant fall in case of EAG States Empowered action group states UP,
Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, MP Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan & Orissa) has been
noticed for the first time during 2011 census.

  • * Stage 1 : less developed countries, high birth rate, high no. of
    deaths due to preventable causes, stable population
  • Stage 2 : Death rates fall due to improved public health but high
    fertility due to limited access to health and contraceptive services,
    spurt in population.
  • Stage 3 : Birth rate also falls, population continues to grow due to
    large no. of people in reproductive age group
  • Stage 4 : Stable population but at a level higher than the initial,
    low birth & death rates, high social & economic development.

Since both fertility & mortality have fallen significantly the population
still continues to grow, though at a slower pace. India, presently reflects
characteristics of stage three countries in the parlance of demographic

Population Growth- Inter State Comparison

The EAG group (UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, MP,
Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan & Orissa indicative of general trend)accounting for about
forty three to forty six percent of India’s population since 1951 for the first
time, during 2011, saw decline in the growth rate. Amongst EAG states, best
performance was seen in case of Orissa followed by Uttarakhand with growth rate
in Orissa falling below national level during 2001-11, even though steepest
decline was observed in case of Rajsthan followed by UP. Bihar continues to have
the highest growth rate. Compared to 1991-2001, only Chhatisgarh has shown an
increase in growth rate in case of EAG states.
Amongst non EAG states Tamil Nadu & Puducherry have shown increase in growth
rate during 2001-11 as compared to previous decade. Amongst non EAG states &
even otherwise steepest fall (6.7 percent points) during 2001-11, compared to
previous decade has been observed in case of Maharashtra. Among the more
populous Non EAG states, growth rates of Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi& Jammu Kashmir
are higher than the current national average.

Population Structure

Population Pyramids represent complex changes in age
structure of the population. In developed countries the shape is almost
cylindrical instead of a pyramid because of the high life expectancy, low
fertility and relatively low population in reproductive age group. In these
countries, advantages of stable population are challenged by higher dependency
ratio since the working age population is less.

In contrast to the above, population of most of the
developing countries including (India) consists of large proportions of children
and persons in reproductive age group. For now and the near future, population
projections for India augur well since it will have a large segment of
population in the working age group, with considerably decreased dependency
ratio putting it in a position to reap demographic dividend.

Sex wise composition

After an all time low sex ratio (No. of females per thousand
males) of 927 in 1991, the sex ratio of India has shown improvement during last
two decades. Sex ratio, as per the recent census is 940 which is largely
comparable to the best performance (941 in 1961) in last fifty years. Several
steps, including gender equality awareness campaigns were taken by the
government to arrest the trend of declining sex ratio.
Stateswise comparison with all India Averages: The lowest sex ratio among the
States has been recorded in Haryana (877), Jammu & Kashmir(883) and Sikkim
(889). Among the UTs the lowest sex ratio has been returned in Daman & Diu
(618), Dadra & Nagar Haveli (775) and Chandigarh (818).

Increase/ decrease in sex ratio at state level : Among the
major States, Bihar, Jammu Kashmir and Gujarat have experienced a fall in the
sex ratio. The decline ranged from 2 points in Gujarat to 9 points in Jammu &
Kashmir. Other smaller Union Territories showing steep decline are Dadra & Nagar
Haveli (37 points) and Daman and Diu (92 points). Perceptible increase has been
observed in the major States such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand,
Orissa, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra,
Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and all the States located in the North East.

It is interesting to note that States having historically low
sex ratio such as Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh have shown appreciable
increase in the sex ratio in Census 2011 with Chandigarh & Delhi showing an
improvement of more than 40 points compared to 2001. Majority of the States
identified as gender critical for special attention and intervention as part of
the Census 2011 have shown increasing trend in the sex ratio as per the
provisional results.

Population & Issues

Population is interchangeably viewed as resource or a problem
depending on the context. Increasing population is concern for developing&
underdeveloped nations whereas some advanced nations are battling issues of
aging population and population decline. India currently at stage three of
demographic transition low mortality & fertility but high births because of
large number of people in reproductive age group due to high fertility of
previous generations, with huge population size is being increasingly reckoned
as an emerging power in the world on the count of its population size, its
favourable structure & robust economy. However, it also requires tackling issues
stemming from a burgeoning population. Experience around the world indicates
that towards the end of demographic transition (i.e. stage four) countries
achieve stable population with high social & economic development. However
during the phase of expansion, in a country with high population density like
India, malthusian concerns of increasing the means of subsistence with an
adequate pace to match the geometric population increase remains valid. Figure
produced below attempts to compare the decadal growth of population, GDP at
factor cost at constant prices and food grain production since 1950-51.

On the economic front, GDP(FC) has grown annual by more than
10.2 per cent during 2001-10, increasing the per capita NNP twofold. During the
same period annual exponential growth rate of food production comes out to be
1.15 per cent, still a shade lower than the population growth rate during
2001-11.However, if the targeted improvement in foodgrain production of 8.5% as
envisaged in the Union Budget document 2011-12, is actually achieved for the two
successive years of 2010-11 and 2011-12, the average annual growth rate in
foodgrain production for 2001-12 would touch about 1.5 per cent, making it
somewhat similar to growth in population during this period. However, a
comparison among the ten most populous countries in the world, in terms of both
Human Development Index and per capita GDP in PPP$ shows India has a long way to
Population growth since 1950-51, as captured by the Census shows an increasing
trend of urbanization whereby the pressure on larger cities has increased
considerably resulting in emergence of slums & other civic infrastructure
related issues. The urban areas has doubled & that of medium sized villages or
below, has decreased from about 80 percent to about 50 per cent. For the first
time since independence, absolute increase in population is more in urban areas.

Definition of Urban (Census 2011): All statutory places with
a municipality, corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee. A
place satisfying the following the three criteria simultaneously : a minimum
population of 5,000; at least 75 per cent of male working population engaged in
non-agricultural pursuits; and a density of population of atleast 400 per sq.
km. source Census, 2011.

Sources of Demographic Data & their limitations

The Indian Population Census is the most credible source of
information on Demography (Population characterstics), Economic Activity,
Literacy and Education, Housing & Household Amenities, Urbanisation, Fertility
and Mortality, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Language, Religion,
Migration, Disability and many other socio cultural and demographic data since
1872. The decennial exercise is carried out by Office of Registrar General of
India, Ministry of Home Affairs and fifteenth Census was conducted by it in
2011.Indian census is the principal source of the data on population size and
structure and also provides some estimates of fertility and mortality
indirectly. The census data also have the advantage of disaggregation to the
level of small regional units. However, since the census data refer to time
points spaced by ten years, the period is too long for fast growing economy like
India undergoing rapid urbanization and migration. The Census enumeration
suffers from both coverage and content errors and post enumeration surveys
provide estimates of these. However, Coverage error has been quite small and is
generally below 2 percent.

Ideally, civil registration should yield estimates of birth
and death rates(System of Civil Registration, CRS and the registration of vital
events -births and deaths is compulsory by law) but as the system has not been
functioning satisfactorily in India, the Sample Registration System, SRS(a
system of dual recording involving continuous registration by a local registrar
and half yearly survey by a supervisor, in a sample of locations since 1969-70)
has served the purpose so far. The estimates of SRS are published in a
reasonably short time, normally in about a year after the end of the reference
year. But it produces estimates only at the state level and disaggregation to
lower levels is not possible. Both Civil Registration System and Sample
Registration System are being monitored by O/o Registrar General of India.

Various surveys, especially the National Family Health
Survey, NFHS (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare gets this survey conducted
through the nodal agency International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai)
also give valuable data on fertility and child mortality but again face the same
constraint since the design and the sample size of these surveys, like the SRS,
do not permit estimation of indicators at the district level. Many states in
India are larger than most countries of the world, with populations exceeding
ten million, and are known to exhibit heterogeneity in physical, economic, and
social dimensions. Failure to have indicators for diverse regions within states
is a major handicap in carrying out demographic analysis and making forecasts
and there seems to be no alternative to strengthening the civil registration
system to ensure that all vital events, the registration of which is mandatory
by law, are captured. In fact, the SRS was initially designed as a short-term
measure, until the coverage of the civil registration system becomes universal,
but this interim scheme has continued for over forty years. Newly introduced
Annual Health Survey (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has entrusted the
responsibility of this survey to the the Registrar General of India in view of
their expertise in handling SRS) has a large enough sample size to obtain
district level estimates, but this survey covers barely half the country. The
National Population Register which could ultimately provide the information on
population closest to treat time basis is also being worked upon by Registrar
General of India and may soon be completed.

Some special surveys focus on migration and the 64th round of
the National Sample Survey Office, NSSO carried out during 2007-08 also covered
migration (India, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, 2010).
These are quite useful to capture factors underlying migration, to assessing the
impact of migration on migrants, on place of origin, to study aspects of
remittances, but are not suited for estimating the volume of migration. The new
National Population Register would, if the updating of the register can be
ensured, be able to give data on migration on a continuous basis.

The other potential sources, sample surveys and
administrative statistics besides population Census are not commonly used to
estimate population size. Surveys also give age-sex structures; however, as the
changes in the structure over a short time interval are small, sample surveys
are not suited to detect these. Administrative statistics such as numbers of
houses, ration cards (cards issued to households to enable purchase of essential
items from specified outlets), and lists of voters, are available. However, in
the absence of any idea on the completeness, these are not safe to be used. At
the moment, therefore, the census, the Sample Registration System, and the
periodic demographic surveys remain the principal sources, with their known
limitations, to study demographic transition in India.

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