India is the second most populous country in the world next only to China. On March 1, 2011 the total population of India was at 1.247 billion. This accounted for 17.5% of the world’s total population. In other words, about every sixth person in the world there is an Indian. China, the most populous country of the world, is a step ahead of us as every fifth person in the world there is a Chinese. While India possesses only 2.42% of the world’s total land area, she is required to sustain almost 17.5% of the world’s population.
Two components of population growth are: Natural growth: It is analysed by assessing the crude birth and death rates. Induced growth: It is assessed by the volume of inward and outward movement of people in any given area. There are four phases of population growth in India. The period from 1901-1921 is referred to as a period of stagnant growth of India’s population. The high birth rate was counterbalanced by high death rate. The decades 1921-1951 are referred to as the period of steady population growth. The mortality rate started showing downward trend as a result of improvement in general health and sanitation conditions after 1921.
The density of population is expressed as the number of persons per square kilometre. According to 2011 census, the density of population in India is 382 persons per square kilometre. Over the last 100 years density has increased more than four times.
Density and its variation across states can be accessed by the following table:-
|State||Area Sq. Km||Density 2011||Density 2001||Density
|4||Daman and Diu||111||2,191||1,413|
|10||Dadra and Nagar Haveli||491||700||449|
|32||Jammu and Kashmir||222,236||56||46|
|34||Andaman and Nicobar Islands||8,249||46||43|