Population Distribution in India!
Where do the people in a country reside? As we know, prior to independence, the country was divided into British India and the princely states, which owed their allegiance to the Crown. British India consisted of 11 provinces and six other territories. The princely states numbered 560. Partition of India at the time of independence changed the political geography of the country, as some parts went to the newly created state of Pakistan. But gradually, the princely states merged with the Indian Union, requiring a fresh division of them into states.
The new states and Union territories numbered 29 and were classified into A, B, C states and D territories. In 1956, the states were reorganized, abolishing the various distinctions and grouped only as states and Union territories. These are now grouped into the Northern, Eastern, Central, Western, and Southern zones.
Recently, on popular demand, some bigger states were bifurcated with the creation of Uttaranchal (formerly part of Uttar Pradesh), Chhattisgarh (formerly part of Madhya Pradesh), and Jharkhand (formerly part of Bihar). Today, the country is divided into 28 states and seven Union territories.
These states and territories differ in their land area and population size. Administratively, each state is further divided into districts. There are 593 districts. Thus, the population of India is divided into various districts within 28 states and seven Union territories.
Each district is further divided into various settlements that are either rural or urban. Here we shall analyze the distribution of the population in terms of their rural or urban residence.
It must be said here that the definition of what constitutes an urban settlement has not been the same in all the censuses, which makes comparison somewhat difficult. Table 4 gives the distribution of the population into rural and urban for the period, 1901-2001.
These figures indicate that India continues to be predominantly rural, with 72.2 per cent of its population residing in rural areas. Rural settlements number 5, 80,781 ranging from those that have a population of over 10,000 persons to those with less than even 500 people. While the urban population still constitutes only 27 per cent of the total, it accounts for 285 million people, which incidentally was the population of the entire country in the decade of 1941-50, and which is much larger than the total population of Pakistan or Indonesia today.
There is clear evidence of a growing urban population. But this growth is uneven. There is high incidence of urban population in the Union territories of Chandigarh (89.78%), Delhi (93.01%), and Pondicherry (66.57%).
Barring Dadra and Nagar Haveli (which has only 22.89% urban population), the other Union territories also have an urban population the percentage of which is higher than the national average, but considerably lower than Chandigarh, Delhi, and Pondicherry; thus, Daman and Diu has a 36.26 per cent urban population, Lakshadweep has 44.47 per cent, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have 32.67 per cent.
Only five of the states come in the upper bracket with their urban population share ranging between 37 and 49 per cent; these are: Goa (49.77%), Mizoram (49.50%), Tamil Nadu (43.86%), Maharashtra (42.40%), and Gujarat (37.35%).
Another five states fall in the middle range, with an urban population of between 27 and 36 per cent. These are Punjab and Karnataka (each with 33.9% urban population), Haryana (29%), West Bengal (28.03%), and Andhra Pradesh (27.08%).
States having an urban population of between 17 and 26 per cent are Kerala (25.97%), Uttaranchal (25.59%), Jammu & Kashmir (24.8%), Manipur (23.86%), Rajasthan (23.38%), Jharkhand (22.5%), Uttar Pradesh (20.78%), Arunachal (20.41%), Chhattisgarh (20.08%), Meghalaya (19.63%), Nagaland (17.74%), and Tripura (17.02%).
It is interesting to note that some of the areas with a high concentration of tribal’s, particularly in the Northeast, show high incidence of urbanization.
The following states continue to be largely rural with 15 per cent or less urban population: Orissa (14.97%), Assam (12.22%), Sikkim (11.10%), Bihar (10.47%), and Himachal Pradesh (9.79%).
India has 23 mega cities that have a population of more than one million. According to the 1991 Census, the biggest city was Greater Mumbai, with a population of 12.59 million, followed by Kolkata (11.02 million), Delhi (8.42 million), and Chennai (5.42 million). At the lower end are the cities of Madurai, Bhopal, Visakhapatnam, Ludhiana, and Varanasi (each with a little more than one million populations).
Occupational distribution of population or occupational pattern in India refers to – the proportion of total working population engaged in different broad sectors of the economy. These broad sectors are:
1. Primary sector which includes occupations like agriculture, mining, fishing, anirrtal husbandry and forestry,
2. Secondary sector which consists of occupations like manufacturing, construction, electricity, etc., and
3. Tertiary sector which consists of occupations such as trade, transport, communications, banking, insurance, personal services, and both government and non-governmental services, etc. This sector is supposed to meet the needs of both primary and secondary sectors.
Occupational Distribution of Working Population in India [in %]
|Year Primary Sector Secondary Sector Tertiary Sector |
Social Disorganisation and Social Problems:
It is quite significant to note that the occupational distribution of population in the country remained almost constant over the last 90 years. It reveals the same. Even after the vigorous efforts by the Central and the State Governments to develop industries, trade, transport and communication, banking, insurance, etc. the majority of our working population are still dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. During the recent years, that is, after 1991 sizeable number of educated people has been able to get jobs with attractive salaries in the service sector.
The occupational distribution of population in India is imbalanced. It shows that India is still backward in the field of industries and depending too much on agriculture. Inadequate and lop sided growth of secondary and tertiary sectors is another fundamental cause for this imbalance in the occupational distribution. The performance of public sector industries is not that satisfactory, and the tertiary sector too has failed to absorb the excess population.
Image Source: lh4.googleusercontent.com
In order to forge a balance in the occupational distribution of the people, it is necessary for us to give more importance to industrial growth. Industry should be able to attract and accommodate a sizeable number of people from the rural areas to lessen their dependence upon agriculture. Further, the tertiary sector which consists of trade and commerce should be developed to absorb increasing number of unemployed youths.