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Subjects /Indian Economy / Demography

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05 Mar 2022

Demography is the statistical study (such as - births, deaths, income, or the incidence of disease) of human populations. Demographers use census data, surveys, and statistical models to analyze the size, movement, and structure of populations.

Importance of Demography:

  • Demography helps to understand the population problems particularly of the less developed regions of the world.
  • It also helps in planning the population of developed and under developed countries and in policies making.
  • International agencies are publishing data in this connection from time to time.

Malthusian Theory of Population

Malthusian Theory of Population

The British Economist Thomas Robert Malthus, established a relationship between growth rate of population and growth rate of food grain.

  • According to him, population increase in Geometrical Ratio (1, 2, 4, 8, 16,….) and if it is not controlled then it would be doubled after every 25 years.
  • While the production of food-grains increases in arithmetic ratio (1,2,3,4,5,..)
  • In this way imbalances are created, which are controlled in 2 ways:
    • By nature itself in the form of natural disaster.
    • By adopting artificial measures.

Theory of Optimum Population

Theory of Optimum Population

According to this theory, as the population increases, the ratio of working population also increases and law of increasing returns begins, which means that total production starts to increase but after the full utilisation of resources, when Per-capita Income is maximum, every increase in population will reduce the PCI. 

Therefore, the size of the population at which PCI is maximum is considered as Optimum population for a given country.

Theory of Demographic Transition

Theory of Demographic Transition


Birth Rate

Death rate










Demography Transition Graph

1st Stage: Pre-Industrial Stage

  • Immediately after Independence
  • Both Birth Rate and Death rate are high and control each other.

2nd Stage: Early Industrial Stage

  • Medical facility became robust, education starts, facilities improved.
  • The gap between Birth rate and Death Rate widens
  • Population Explosion

3rd Stage: Mature Industrial Stage

  • In developed countries of the world.
  • Both Birth Rate and Death Rate are low
  • Starts negative growth system due to fall in population.
  • E.g. Japan, Australia etc

Indias Demographic Condition

India’s Demographic Condition

It could be expressed in 5 phases.



Average Annual Growth Rate of Population

1) 1891-1921

Stagnant Population


2) 1921-1951

Steady Population


3) 1951-1981

Population Explosion


4) 1981-2001

High rapid growth with definite sign of slowing down


5) 2001-2011

Declining fertility rate


Demographic Dividend

It refers increasing ratio of working population in the total population of a country, which could play vital role in economic development.

In India the ratio of working population is 63% and so it is the high time for Indian economy to become a global economic power.

Miscellaneous Facts

  • First census of the world was held in Sweden in 1740
  • First decadal census of the world was held in USA in 1790
  • India’s first census was held in 1872, in the period of Lord Mayo.
  • India’s 1st decadal census was held in 1881, in the period of Lord Rippon.
  • The census of 2011 was the 15th census (starting from 1972). The registrar of the census was C. Chandramauli.

Population Trap

If the rate of growth of population is higher than the economic growth, there will be a situation like Population Trap.

Poverty Trap

People below poverty line were not tending to go above the poverty line.

Note: India’s population policy was declared in 2001 and decided the Total Fertility Rate should be 2.1.

Right now, it is 2.6.

Did You Know

  • The year 1921 is known as historical dividing year in the history of Indian population because for the 1st time there was negative growth in India’s population.
  • On 11th July every year, world’s population day is celebrated because in 1987 at this day world’s population cross the figure of 5 billion.
  • 12th October has been declared by UN as 6th billion day in 1999.
  • On 31st October, 2011, world’s population crosses 7 billion.