India is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Along with that, it's the second most populated country in the world, with a population of close to 1.5 billion. With a population so massive, India contributes nearly 17% of the global population. In other words, every 6th person in the world is an Indian. The people are distributed randomly and unevenly in an area of 3.28 million square kilometres, with densely-populated cities to sparsely populated small villages and hilly terrain areas.
Distribution of Population in India
Among the 28 States and 8 Union Territories of India, Uttar Pradesh is the most populated state with a staggering population of 166 million people. That is a population more than most countries in the world. Meanwhile, Sikkim and Lakshadeep have the lowest population of 0.5 million and 60000, respectively. The top five most populated States in India are Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. About half of India's population is concentrated in these states only.
Population Density of a place is defined as the number of people living in that particular place divided by the geographical area. In other words, it's the number of people living per unit area. It depends on several factors. The most prominent characteristic is the geographic location. People generally avoid hilly terrains due to harsh climatic conditions and their inability to sustain agriculture. Hence states like Himachal Pradesh and Assam are sparsely populated. On the other hand, river valleys, coastal areas, and the Northern plains are highly fertile and densely populated regions.
Population Growth and Decline: Population Change
The annual Growth rate is defined as the increase in people per every hundred people per year. For example, if a city's population is 100 and 5 more people are added in a year, taking the population to 105, the Annual Growth rate would be 5%. The population of an area is not always destined to increase, and it may decrease as well. The population change, which includes increase and decreases, can be due to various factors like Birth, Death, and Migration. In India, the Birth rate has always been more than the death rate despite the major natural calamities. This is a significant reason behind the ever-increasing Indian population. The third reason for the population after birth and death is Migration. Migration includes two things, immigration, and emigration. Immigration is the number of people coming to an area, while emigration is the number of people leaving an area. Understandably, the population increases when immigration is more than emigration and decreases when the opposite happens.
Characteristics of Indian Population
After we have understood the various factors influencing the population, let us understand the characteristics of the Indian population.
The age composition of a country determines the social and economic structure. Age composition is nothing but the population of people of different age groups living in a country. The entire population is divided into three categories, children(below 15years), working-class(15-59 years), aged(59+ years). The more the working-class population in a country, the more economically stable and developing the country is. Additionally, a high child population implies a strong future ahead for the country.
The sex ratio is nothing but the number of females in the country for every 1000 males. This gives an idea of the proportion of females and males in the country and its culture and gender diversity. Unfortunately, India is one of the countries with the lowest sex ratio. But some of the states in India are those having more females than males. As per the 2011 census report in Kerala, the sex ratio is 964, whereas in union territory Puducherry, the ratio is 967 and regarded as the highest in India. In Haryana, the ratio is 877, and this is the lowest figure in India. Considering the entire population, the sex ratio of the country is 943.
The literacy rate is a vital part of the Population. It mainly determines the total development or the economic structure of the country. If the country has more literacy rate, it is more developed as the people do something innovative and contribute more towards GDP. As per the 2011 census, a standard was set for the literacy rate. According to this, if a person is more than seven years old and can read and write thoroughly, that particular person is called literate and counted in total literacy percentage. As per the 2011 census report, the literacy rate of India was 74.04%. Well, this number varies in different states. In Kerala, the literacy rate is around 96.2% and is regarded as the highest literary state in India, while Bihar accounts for the lowest literacy rate.