According to Census 2001- 2011, India’s population has grown at 17.7 per cent as against 21.5 per cent in the previous decade.
The country’s population at present is 1.21 billion, an increase of 181.96 million since 2001. What is even more comforting for the country’s planners is the fact that female growth rate has been better than male growth rate. The male population has gone up by 90.97 million, against a rise of 90.99 in the population of females over the last 10 years.
The rate of growth of the female population is 18.3 per cent, while the male growth rate stands at 17.1 per cent, according to the final census released by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Tuesday.
While there has been a 3.8 per cent drop in the overall growth rate, there is still scope for improvement as 14 states and Union Territories have registered over 20 per cent growth in population figures. Among the major states, Bihar has recorded the highest decadal growth in population ( 25.4 per cent), surpassing West Bengal, which occupied the first position in 1991- 2001.
More than two- thirds of the country’s population lives in rural areas. As per census 2011, 833.5 million people live in rural areas, while 377.1 million people live in urban centres. Delhi has the highest proportion of urban population at 97.5 per cent. Top five states in terms of urban population are Goa ( 62.2 per cent), Mizoram ( 52.1 per cent), Tamil Nadu ( 48.4 per cent), Kerala ( 47.7 per cent) and Maharashtra ( 45.2 per cent).
Literacy rate in India has risen to 73 per cent in comparison to 64.8 per cent in 2001. While male literacy rate stands at 80.9 per cent, which is 5.6 per cent higher than the previous census, the female literacy rate has been recorded at 64.6 per cent, an increase of 10.9 per cent since 2001. The gap in literacy rate between urban and rural areas and between males and females has also declined. In Census 2011, the gap stands at 16.3 points.
India’s sex ratio in 2011 stands at 943 ( females against 1000 males), which is 10 per cent more than the last census, when it was 933. Haryana has the worst sex ratio at 879, while Kerala is the best at 1,084.