Population Growth

  • Population growth is the change in the population of a place over time. It can be expressed in terms of:
    1. Absolute Numbers (1,2,3), and
    2. Rate of increase (%)
  • The rate at which the population increases in a given time period as a fraction of the initial population is known as ‘population growth rate’. It is expressed in percentage.
  • Rate of growth is of the following types:
    1. Natural growth rate
    2. Positive growth rate, and
    3. Negative growth rate
  • The difference between the natural birth-rate and death rate is referred to as the ‘Natural Growth’ of population. It does not take migration into account.
  • The increase in population between two given points of time is referred to as the ‘Positive Growth’ of population. It happens when the birth rate is higher than the death rate.


  • When the population decreases between the two given points of time, then the growth of population is referred to as the ‘Negative Growth’. It occurs when the birth rate is lower than the death rate.
  • Crude birth rate (CBR) is the number of child births per thousand of population, per year.
  • Crude Death Rate (CDR) is the number of deaths per thousand of population per year.
  • Another factor that affects the population growth rate of a place is migration. It is the physical movement of human beings from one place to another; i.e., coming in and going out of a particular region. When a person migrates from one part of the country to another, it is known as ‘internal migration’. When migration takes place from one country to another country, it is known as ‘international migration’.
  • On the basis of the census of 1921, 1951, 1981 and 2001, the demographic history of India is classified into four distinct phases. The four phases of growth are:
    1. Phase I: 1901-1921 (Period of Stagnant Growth)
    2. Phase II: 1921-1951 (Period of Steady Growth)
    3. Phase III: 1951-1981 (Period of Rapid High Growth)
    4. Phase IV: 1981-Present (Period of High Growth with Definite Signs of Slowing Down)
  • India recorded the decadal growth rate of 17.64% in 2011 as compared to 21.54% in 2001, but there are variations in the growth rates of different parts of the country. This is known as regional variation.

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  • Q1

    What do you understand by population doubling time?


    Population Doubling Time means the time taken by any population to double itself at its current annual growth rate.

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  • Q2

    What do you understand by Growth of Population?


    Growth of population is the change in the number of people living in a particular area between two points of time.

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  • Q3

    What is the total population of India?


    The total population of India according to 2001 census is 1,028 million.

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  • Q4

    Name the state having the highest share of percentage of population in India.


    Uttar Pradesh having the highest share of percentage of population in India.

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  • Q5

    What is the main source of population data?


    The main source of population data is the census of India. Population data is collected through census operations held every 10 years in our country. The first population census of India was conducted in 1872 but the first complete census was conducted only in 1881.

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