Population in India and its Problems

1. Population Fact Sheet

  • India’s total population is 1.3 billion in the year 2016
  • India is the second most populous country in the world
  • As of 2016 India has 18% of the total people living in the world
  • India has more than 50% of the population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35
  • The majority of India’s population falls in the category of young thus contributing to its demographic dividend
  • India is projected to be the most populous country in 2022 by overtaking China

Note: Demographic Dividend refers to people in the age group of 15-59 years. This indicates that India’s population has the capacity to produce more workforce and contribute to its economy

2.Important Terms associated with Population (Demographics)

2.1 Life Expectancy

It is the average number of years a person lives from the date of his birth. It varies from one country to another. India’s Life Expectancy is around 68 years (i.e, on an average a person born in India can be expected to live upto 68 years).

2.2 Birth Rate

Birth Rate refers to total number of live birth per 1000 individuals in a given year. (For Example, if we consider 1000 members of a population in 2014 and compare the same in 2015 and count the newborn babies within that period. This will tell the birth rate). In 2016 India’s birth rate was 19.3

2.3 Death Rate

Death Rate is the number of deaths per 1000 individuals in a given year. (For Example, if we consider 1000 members of a population in 2014 and compare the same in 2015 and count the deaths occurred within that period. This will tell the death rate). It is also known as Mortality Rate. In 2016 India’s death rate was 7.3

2.4 Total Fertility Rate (TFR)

TFR refers to the average number of Children that can be born to a women. Presently India’s  TFR is 2.3 and it varies with states.

2.5 Population Density

Population density refers to the number of persons living per unit of area of land. (For Example, if we take 1 square kilometer of an area and calculate the number of persons living there, it is the population density of that area)

2.6 Migration

Migration is the movement of people from one area to another. The reasons can be in search of education, employment, better livelihood etc. In India the majority of migration happens from rural to urban areas in search of better economic opportunities

2.7 Population Explosion

It refers to a sudden and a large increase in population

3. Causes of Overpopulation

The two broad causes of overpopulation in India are because of

  1. Decline in Death Rate
  2. Prevailing High Birth Rate

The reasons behind these demographic factors are discussed in the illustration below

4. Problems of Overpopulation

Image Source: shareyouressays.com

The following flowchart explains the problems of overpopulation in detail

5. Solutions to Mitigate Overpopulation 

The above infographic represents the important measures needed to combat population growth. India’s family planning measures have been complained for the following reasons

  • Mass sterilization and deaths (For Example, in the year 2014 in Chattisgarh, many women died post a Tubectomy operation in a camp due to improper and hasty procedures to meet Government targets )
  • Lack of Access to Family planning measures
  • Conditional cash transfer schemes and other Government benefits are available only upto two children. But such schemes are used only by a less proportion of population and hence they have not reduced the birth rate

Instead the focus should be on

  • Education of more women as it will improve literacy and reduce the birth rate (In many developed countries, the rise in level of education had a positive effect on population reduction)
  • Generating awareness through Government and Non Governmental Organizations among people about use of contraceptives and reduction in family size


  1. Wikipedia
  2. The Hindu
  3. UN World Population Prospect
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