Demographics of India

Demographics of India
India population density map en.svg
Map showing the population density of each district in India.
Population1,324,171,354 (2016 est.)[1]
Density382 people per.sq.km (2011 est.)
Growth rateIncrease 1.19% (2016) (96th)
Birth rate19.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Life expectancy68.89 years (2009 est.)
 • male67.46 years (2009 est.)
 • female72.61 years (2009 est.)
Fertility rate2.2 children born/woman (2016 est.)[2]
Infant mortality rate41 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)[3]
Age structure
0–14 years28.6% (male 190,075,426/female 172,799,553)[2]
15–64 years63.6% (male 381,446,079/female 359,802,209) (2009 est.)
65 and over5.3% (male 29,364,920/female 32,591,030) (2009 est.)
Sex ratio
At birth1.10 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Under 151.10 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
15–64 years1.06 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
65 and over0.90 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
Nationality
Major ethnicSee Ethnic Groups of India
Language
OfficialSee Languages of India

India is the second most populated country in the world with nearly a fifth of the world's population. According to the 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects[1], the population stood at 1,324,171,354.

During 1975–2019 the population doubled to 1.2 billion. The Indian population reached the billion mark in 1998. India is projected to be the world's most populous country by 2024,[4] surpassing the population of China. It is expected to become the first political entity in history to be home to more than 1.5 billion people by 2030, and its population is set to reach 1.7 billion by 2050.[5][6] Its population growth rate is 1.2%, ranking 94th in the world in 2013.[7]

India has more than 50% of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65% below the age of 35. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan; and, by 2030, India's dependency ratio should be just over 0.4.[8]

India has more than two thousand ethnic groups,[9] and every major religion is represented, as are four major families of languages (Indo-European, Dravidian, Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan languages) as well as two language isolates (the Nihali language[10] spoken in parts of Maharashtra and the Burushaski language spoken in parts of Jammu and Kashmir (Kashmir).

Further complexity is lent by the great variation that occurs across this population on social parameters such as income and education. Only the continent of Africa exceeds the linguistic, genetic and cultural diversity of the nation of India.[11]

The sex ratio is 944 females for 1000 males (2016) (940 per 1000 in 2011[12]) This ratio has been showing an upwards trend for the last two decades after a continuous decline in the last century.[13]

History

Prehistory to early 19th century

The following table lists estimates for the population of India (including what are now Pakistan and Bangladesh) from prehistory up until 1820. It includes estimates and growth rates according to five different economic historians, along with interpolated estimates and overall aggregate averages derived from their estimates.

Year Maddison (2001)[14] Clark (1967)[15][16][17] Biraben (1979)[16][18][19] Durand (1974)[20][16] McEvedy (1978)[21][16] Aggregate average Period Average
 % growth
/ century
Population % growth
/ century
Population % growth
/ century
Population % growth
/ century
Population % growth
/ century
Population % growth
/ century
Population % growth
/ century
10,000 BC 100,000 100,000 Stone Age 3.9
4000 BC 1,000,000 3.9 1,000,000 3.9
2000 BC 6,000,000 9.4 6,000,000 9.4 Bronze Age 9.4
500 BC 25,000,000 10 25,000,000 10 Iron Age 10.2
400 BC 30,000,000 26,600,000 6.3 28,300,000 13.2
200 BC 55,000,000 35.4 30,000,000 6.3 42,500,000 22.5 Maurya era 22.5
1 AD 75,000,000 70,000,000 46,000,000 –9.3 75,000,000 34,000,000 6.5 60,000,000 18.8 Classical
era
5.3
200 75,000,000 0 72,500,000 1.7 45,000,000 –1.1 75,000,000 0 39,000,000 7.1 61,300,000 1.1
400 75,000,000 0 75,000,000 1.7 32,000,000 –18.6 75,000,000 0 45,000,000 7.4 60,400,000 –0.7
500 75,000,000 0 75,000,000 0 33,000,000 3.1 75,000,000 0 48,000,000 6.5 61,200,000 1.3
600 75,000,000 0 75,000,000 0 37,000,000 12.1 75,000,000 0 51,000,000 6.5 62,600,000 2.3 Early
medieval
era
1.9
700 75,000,000 0 75,000,000 0 50,000,000 35.1 75,000,000 0 56,500,000 10.3 66,300,000 5.9
800 75,000,000 0 75,000,000 0 43,000,000 –16.3 75,000,000 0 62,000,000 10.3 66,000,000 –0.5
900 75,000,000 0 72,500,000 –3.5 38,000,000 –13.2 75,000,000 0 69,500,000 11.4 66,000,000 0
1000 75,000,000 0 70,000,000 –3.5 40,000,000 5.3 75,000,000 0 77,000,000 11.4 67,400,000 2.1
1100 81,000,000 8 72,500,000 3.5 51,000,000 27.5 81,300,000 8.4 80,000,000 3.9 73,200,000 8.6 Late
medieval
era
8.1
1200 87,500,000 8 75,000,000 3.5 65,100,000 27.5 88,200,000 8.4 83,000,000 3.8 79,800,000 9
1300 94,500,000 8 75,000,000 0 83,000,000 27.5 95,700,000 8.4 88,000,000 6 87,200,000 9.3
1400 102,000,000 8 77,000,000 3.3 88,800,000 7 103,700,000 8.4 94,000,000 6.8 92,900,000 7
1500 110,000,000 8 79,000,000 3.3 95,000,000 7 112,500,000 8.4 100,000,000 6.4 99,300,000 7
1600 135,000,000 22.8 100,000,000 26.6 145,000,000 52.6 135,800,000 20.7 130,000,000 30 129,200,000 30.1 Mughal era 31.9
1650 150,000,000 22.2 150,000,000 125 160,000,000 20.7 149,100,000 20.7 145,000,000 24.4 150,800,000 36.2
1700 165,000,000 22.2 200,000,000 77.8 175,000,000 20.7 163,900,000 20.7 160,000,000 21.8 172,800,000 31.3
1750 182,100,000 21.8 200,000,000 0 182,700,000 9 180,000,000 20.7 170,000,000 12.9 183,000,000 12.1 Colonial
era
12.2
1800 200,900,000 21.8 190,000,000 –10.8 190,700,000 9 185,000,000 18.4 190,400,000 8
1820 209,000,000 21.8 190,000,000 0 194,000,000 9 200,000,000 47.7 198,300,000 22

The population grew from the South Asian Stone Age in 10,000 BC to the Maurya Empire in 200 BC at a steadily increasing growth rate,[22] before population growth slowed down in the classical era up to 500 AD, and then became largely stagnant during the early medieval era era up to 1000 AD.[14][16] The population growth rate then increased in the late medieval era (during the Delhi Sultanate) from 1000 to 1500.[14][16]

India's population growth rate under the Mughal Empire (16th–18th centuries) was higher than during any previous period in Indian history.[22][23][16] Under the Mughal Empire, India experienced an unprecedented economic and demographic upsurge,[22] due to Mughal agrarian reforms that intensified agricultural production,[24] proto-industrialization[25] that established India as the most important centre of manufacturing in international trade,[26] and a relatively high degree of urbanisation for its time;[27] 15% of the population lived in urban centres, higher than the percentage of the population in 19th-century British India[27] and contemporary Europe[27] up until the 19th century.[28]

Under the reign of Akbar the Great (reigned 1556–1605) in 1600, the Mughal Empire's urban population was up to 17 million people, larger than the urban population in Europe.[29] By 1700, Mughal India had an urban population of 23 million people, larger than British India's urban population of 22.3 million in 1871.[30] Nizamuddin Ahmad (1551–1621) reported that, under Akbar's reign, Mughal India had 120 large cities and 3,200 townships.[27] A number of cities in India had a population between a quarter-million and half-million people,[27] with larger cities including Agra (in Agra Subah) with up to 800,000 people[31] and Dhaka (in Bengal Subah) with over 1 million people.[32] Mughal India also had a large number of villages, with 455,698 villages by the time of Aurangzeb (reigned 1658–1707).[29]

Late 19th century to early 20th century

The population of India under the British Raj (including what are now Pakistan and Bangladesh) according to censuses:

Census year Population Growth (%)
1871[33] 238,830,958
1881[34] 253,896,330 6.3
1891[33] 287,223,431 13.1
1901[33] 293,550,310 2.2
1911[35] 315,156,396 7.4
1921[35] 318,942,480 1.2
1931[35] 352,837,778 10.6
1941[35] 388,997,955 10.2

Studies of India's population since 1881 have focused on such topics as total population, birth and death rates, growth rates, geographic distribution, literacy, the rural and urban divide, cities of a million, and the three cities with populations over eight million: Delhi, Greater Mumbai (Bombay), and Kolkata (Calcutta).[36]

Mortality rates fell in the period 1920–45, primarily due to biological immunisation. Other factors included rising incomes, better living conditions, improved nutrition, a safer and cleaner environment, and better official health policies and medical care.[37]

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