Population Composition In India Objectives, Rural-Urban Composition, Sex-Ratio Part 1

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In This Chapter We Will Study About The Composition Of Indian Population Along Certain Dimensions. Firstly, We Would Like To Know About The Location And Size Of Settlements In Which People Prefer To Live And Why They Do So. This Constitutes The Rural And Urban Composition Of Population. Age Structure Composition Of Indian Population And Its Implication Would Be Yet Another Focal Point Of Our Inquiry. Then We Would Move Away From Purely Demographic To Socio-Cultural Dimensions Of Our Population Composition.

This Will Help Us To Know The Linguistic And Religious Composition Of Our Society. Finally, We Have A Glance At Scheduled Caste And Scheduled Tribes With Regard To Their Numbers, Location And Distribution. The Most Important Focal Point Of Our Study Would Be The Literacy Rates Of Our Society And Its Major Social Components. All These Analytical Aspects Would Help Us To Look At Our Population Not Only As Mere Numbers But As A Human Resource As Well.


The Major Objectives Of This Chapter Are:

  • To Analyse The Rural-Urban, Male-Female (Sex Ratio), And Age Composition Of Indian Population

  • To Establish The Relationship Between Literacy Rate And Population Growth Rate

  • To Show The Areas Of Tribal Population In India

  • To Analyse The Reasons For Concentration Of Scheduled Tribes And Scheduled Castes Population In Specific Areas

  • To Explain The Reasons For High Concentration Of The Scheduled Castes Population In The Area Of Very Low Concentration Of Scheduled Tribes And Vice Versa

  • To Describe The Important Features Of Religious And Linguistic Composition Of Population

Rural-Urban Composition

Percentage of Total Population
Title: Percentage of Total Population

Census Year

Percentage Of Total Population




































Population Is Divided Into Two Parts- Rural And Urban On The Basis Of The Size And Occupation Of Settlements. The Rural Population Consists Of Small Sized Settlements Scattered Over The Countryside. Urban Population Is One That Lives In Large Size Settlements I.E. Towns And Cities. However, More Importantly This Division Is Based On Occupational Structure. In India, Rural Area Is Defined As One Where 3/4th Or More Of Its Population Is Engaged In Primary Occupations Such As Farming, Animal Rearing, Forestry, Fishing, Quarrying Etc. On The Other Hand, Urban Area Is One Where 3/4th Or Above Of Its Population Is Engaged In Non-Agricultural Activities Such As Manufacturing, Trade, Transport, Communication, Banking, And Social Services Like Health, Education, Administration Etc.

Rural And Urban Population In India (1901-2001)

Source: Census Of India

The Total Population Of India Spreads Over More Than 5.8 Lakhs Of Villages And 4,615 Towns. India, Proverbially, Is Considered To Be A Country Of Villages. Even Today, About 72% Of The Total Population Of India Lives In Villages. But The Proportion Of Rural Population Has Been Decreasing In Each Successive Census. Consequently, The Proportion Of Urban Population To Total Population Has Been Increasing Slowly But Steadily. It Was As Low As 10.8% In 1901 And Rose To 27.8 By 2001. It Is Because The Rate Of Growth Of Urban Population Is Higher Than That Of Rural Population. In Contrast To An Average Growth Rate Of About 21.34% In 2001, The Urban Population Has Registered A Growth Rate Of 31.13 %. Much Of The Growth Of Urban Population Is Due To High Rate Of Migration Of People From Rural To Urban Areas. This Also Indicates A Slow Change In The Occupations Of People From Primary To Secondary And Tertiary Activities. Very Often Limits Of Municipal Or City Corporation Areas Are Extended To Cover Neighbouring Villages Or Suburbs.

Half Of The Total Urban Population Of India Lives Only In Five States. These Five States Are Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, And Andhra Pradesh. Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan And Union Territory Of Delhi, Have About 32 % Of Urban Population Of The Country. Rest Of The Urban Population (About 18%) Is Spread Over The Remaining States And Union Territories.

According To 2001 Census, 35 Cities Have More Than 10,00,000 Population Each. They Are Called The Metropolitan Or Million Plus Cities. These 35 Metropolitan Cities Alone Account For 37.8% Of The Total Population. If This Trend Continues, India Will Have More Than 50 Metropolitan Cities At The Time Of 2011 And Will Have Half Of The Urban Population Of The Country. This Highly Rapid Growth Of Metropolitan Cities Will Bring Several Problems Like Supply Of Housing, Electricity, Water, School, Dispensaries, Ration Shops Etc.

All The 35 Metropolitan Cities Are Arranged In Terms Of Descending Orders Of Population. These Are Greater Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Surat, Kanpur, Jaipur, Lucknow, Nagpur, Patna, Indore, Vadodara, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Ludhiana, Kochi, Vishakhapatnam, Agra, Varanasi, Madurai, Meerut, Nasik, Jabalpur, Jamshedpur, Asansol, Dhanbad, Faridabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Vijayawada, And Rajkot.


Sex Ratio Refers To The Number Of Females Per Thousand Males Of An Area. According To The Census Of India 2001, There Are Only 933 Females Per Thousand Males. It Means There Are A Smaller Number Of Females Than The Number Of Males. When The Number Of Females Is More Than The Males It Is Said To Be Favourable. As Far As States Are Concerned Only Kerala Has Favourable Sex Ratio (1058). It Has The Highest Sex Ratio In The Country.

Image result for Sex-Ratio

Image Result for Sex-Ratio

Image result for Sex-Ratio

The Lowest Sex Ratio Among States Is Found In Haryana (861). Among The Union Territories, Pondicherry Has The Highest Sex Ratio In The Country With (1001) Females Per Thousand Males, Whereas The Lowest Sex Ratio Is Found In Daman And Diu Where There Was 709 Females Per Thousand Males. The Significant Trend With Regard To The Sex Ratio In The Country Is That It Has Been A Steadily Declining Except Some Marginal Increases In The 1951, 1981 And Now In 2001 Censuses.

Sex Ratio In India (Female Per 1000 Males 1901 – 2001)

Sex Ratio in India (Female Per 1000 Males 1901 – 2001)
Title: Sex Ratio in India (Female per 1000 Males 1901 – 2001)


Sex Ratio























Source: Census Of India

District Level Pattern

An Overview Of The District Level Data Reveal That Out Of 593 Districts In The Country, 324 Districts Record Sex Ratio Above The National Average I.E. 933, And 4 Districts Have The Sex Ratio Equal To The National Average. In Other Words, There Are 55% Of The Total Districts Recorded Sex Ratio Above The National Average. Out Of These 324 Districts, There Are As Many As 78 Districts Spread Over Sixteen States/Union Territories Have Recorded Sex Ratio Above Unity. Unity Means Females Are More Than Thousand Per Thousand Males. The Largest Number Of Such Districts Are From Tamil Nadu (15) Followed By Kerala (13) And Uttarakhand (8) While Chhattisgarh And Orissa Have 7 Districts Each. Mahe In Pondicherry Recorded Highest Sex Ratio (1148) In The Country Followed By Almora In Uttarakhand (1147) And Ratnagiri In Maharashtra (1135).

If We Look At Their Spatial Distribution, It Has Been Observed That There Are Three Regions Where Sex Ratio Is Favourable. First Region Is Southern India Consisting Of Majority Districts Of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Almost All The Districts Of Kerala And A Few Coastal Districts Of Karnataka. The Second Region Is Hills And Plateau Region Of Adjoining Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, And Madhya Pradesh Dominated By Tribal People. The Third Region Is The Hilly States Of Uttarakhand And Himachal Pradesh.

Image of Chart

Image of Chart

Image of Chart

On The Contrary, There Are 265 Districts Where Sex Ratio Is Below National Average. Out Of These 265 Districts, There Are 42 Districts Where Sex Ratio Is Below 850. Uttar Pradesh And National Capital Territory Of Delhi Has 8 Districts Each Followed By Haryana (6). But Within These 42 Districts 10 Districts Are Located In Major Cities 8 In NCT Delhi, 1 In Maharashtra I.E. Mumbai And The Other One Is Union Territory Of Chandigarh. The Very Low Sex Ratio In These Cities May Be Due To The Inflow Of Male Migrant Seeking Work In The Industrial, Commercial, Construction, Informal, And Unorganised Sectors Of The Economy. But The Lowest Sex Ratio In Terms Of District Is Recorded In Daman District (591) Followed By West Kameng (749) In Arunachal Pradesh, And North Districts (752) In Sikkim.

The Major Reasons For The Declining Sex Ratio In India Are The Higher Rate Of Maternal Mortality And A High Child Mortality Among The Female Children. These Two Causes Are Related To The Comparatively Lower Status Of The Women In Our Society. Apart From This Our Socio-Religious Values And Beliefs Like Male Preference In Our Society Are Responsible For The Declining Sex Ratio. The Female Mortality Rate Is Likely To Be Reversed With The Improving Status Of The Women And Also Due To Better Medical Facilities And Education Particularly Of The Females. The Improved Medical Facilities Have Helped In Checking The Rate Of Child Mortality And The Deaths Of Mothers During Child Birth.

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