India is the second overpopulated country in the world which reached 110 crores (110,000,000,0) and one sixth of the population of the world. It is next to China and has 2.4 per cent of the total population of the world land area where she has to support nearly 16% of the total world population. According to 191 census it had 68.4 crores of population. In 1991 its population was 84.4 crores. According to the 2001 census its population is 102.7 crores. The growth of population per year is more than 17 million which is equal to the total population of Australia and little more population than Japan. So it is right said that India creates one Australia and little more Japan in a year. The density of population is 324 per square kilometer in 2001. The life expectancy is 63.9 years, literacy rate 65.4 per cent and the sex ratio is 933 females per 1000 males. The annual growth rate of population was 2.14 in 1991 which decreased to 1.95 according to 2001 census.
Causes of rapid growth of population in India
There are various causes responsible for the rapid growth of population in India. Generally all the causes can be divided into three categories like – (I) High birth rate, (II) Low birth rate, (III) Migration.
(I) High Birth Rate (Fertility) :
Birth rate refers to the number of children taking birth per thousand people. In 1991the birth rate was 29.9 per thousand. In 2000 the birth rate was 25.8 per thousand which is very compound to other counties of the world. Birth rate is high due to the following reasons.
Early Marriage System :
Early marriages are commonly seen in our country. It is generally in the case of women. Maximum number of girls are married between 16 to 18 years. Early marriage prolongs the childbearing period and this leads to a high rate of growth of population.
Universal Marriage :
Marriage is universal practice and regarded as a sacred obligation in India. Presently in India about 76 per cent of the women are married at their reproductive age. By attaining the age of 50 only 5 out of 100 Indian women remain unmarried. As marriage is universal in our country, the birth rate becomes higher which raise the growth rate pf population.
Joint Family System :
Thought the importance of jointly family system has considerably declined in our country the system has no disappeared till now. In a joint family system the children are looked after by all the earning members of the family. The system acts a protection against economic hardship. A member may not be in a position to earn something but when he gets married he gets more children. The birth rate as a result of which population increases.
Poverty is another factor which is mostly responsible for the rapid growth of population. India houses are the museum of poverty. According to 2001 census, nearly 37 per cent of people live below the poverty line. Small children in poor families are put to work and this helps to increase the family income. Children in poor families are considered as assets.
Illiteracy, ignorance and superstitions :
A majority of population in our country are illiterates. When illiteracy is combined with poverty it leads to firm belief a superstition. Children are considered as the gifts of God. They know nothing about the birth control measures. All those account of a higher birth rate in India’s population.
Attitude towards male child :
Every Indians wants to have a male child. A male child is considered as an asset for the poor, a dowry earner for the greedy, and liberator for the God fearing, a life insurance for the middle man and a matter of pride for the mother.
(II ) Low Death Rate : (Mortality rate why low in India) :
Death rate refers to the number of death taking place in thousand people. According to the 1991 census, the death rate was 10 per thousand. It decreased to 8.5 per thousand in 2001. Following are the causes responsible for the low death rate in India.
Control of epidemic and other deadly disease:
Epidemic like cholera, smallpox, plague, malaria etc. which too away lakhs of lives has been successfully controlled an even completely eliminated. The number of people dying in diseases has fallen.
Development of medical science :
Due to the development of medical science and invention of life saving drugs the death rate has sharply declined. Spread of health care facilities and hospitals in rural areas has created consciousness among the people about their health. The drinking water facilities food and other sanitation measure has helped to people to escape from death. This reduces the death rate to a marked extent in India.
Decline of infant mortality rate :
The infant mortality rate has declined due to mass immunization programmes and proper medical treatment to the children. In 1994, the infant mortality rate was 74 per thousand which declined to 70 per thousand in 2006. hen infant mortality rate decreases death rate also increases leading to heavy population growth.
(III) Migration :
Migration is another important point which is responsible for the higher growth rate of population. Is is seen that large number of people migrate from foreign counties to India and permanently stay here. Although this factor is not very crucial yet has increased the population of our country. These are the most important factors responsible for the population explosion in our county.