New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) The population of India has touched 1.20 billion, an increase of over 181 million in the last decade, but the growth rate has actually gone down by nearly four percent, according to the latest census data released Thursday.
“The percentage decadal growth during 2001-2011 has registered the sharpest decline since independence – a decrease of 3.90 percentage points from 21.54 to 17.64 percent,” Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner C. Chandramauli told reporters here.
According to the Census 2011, the decade 2001-2011 is the first, with the exception of 1911-1921, which has actually added lesser population compared to the previous one. In 1981-91, the population growth rate was 23.87 percent.
This is, however, only a provisional population result that is arrived at by adding the figures as reported by each enumerator.
Chandramauli said there “could be errors in addition or there could
be cases of omission or duplication. The final population will be arrived at by scanning of schedules, data processing and other checks. The final population figure is likely to be released next year.”
According to the census results, India’s population at over 1.20 billion is now bigger than the combined the US, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state with more people than Brazil — the fifth largest populated country in the world. Uttar Pradesh is followed by Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
The female population has also risen by 18.12 percent to reach 586.5 million (58 crore).
Census 2011 was done in in two phases — houselisting and housing census and then population enumeration.
An estimated 2.7 million officials had fanned out across the country to undertake the mammoth exercise that cost the government Rs.22,000 million.
The decadal exercise — the 15th headcount of India’s population since 1872 — is undertaken to create a database on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, housing and household amenities, urbanisation, fertility and mortality, social structure, language, religion and migration.
Some 8,000 million tonnes of paper have been used for the exercise. The census is the only source of credible data base in India that the government uses to formulate its policies.