Study Material and Notes of Ch 6 Population Class 9th Geography

Topics in the Chapter

• Introduction
• Size and Distribution
→ India’s Population Distribution by Density
• Population Growth
→ Processes of Population Growth
• Age Composition
• Sex Ratio
• Literacy rates
• Occupational Structure
• Health
• Adolescent Population
• NPP 2000
• Relation between NPP 2000 and Adolescent Population


• People make and use resources. They are also considered as resources having different quality.

• Population (total number of persons inhabiting a particular place like city, state, country etc.) is the central element in social studies. It is the point of reference from which all other elements are observed.

• Human beings are producers as well as consumers of the resources so information about population of a country such as their size, distribution are important.

• A census is an official enumeration of population done periodically. In India the first census was held in the year 1872.

• The census of India provides us with information regarding the population of our country. The data provided by the census cover below three major questions about the population:
→ Population size and distribution
→ Population growth and processes of population change
→ Characteristics or qualities of the population

Size and distribution

• As per March 2011, India’s population stood at 1210.6 million, which account for 17.5 percent of the world’s population.

• According to the data, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state of India with a population size of 199 million, which account for 16 percent of total India's population.

• Sikkim's population - 0.6 million (6 lakhs) while Lakshadweep has 64,429 thousand people.

• The five states Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh holds almost half of Indian population (49%).

India’s Population Distribution by Density

• Population density is calculated as the number of persons per unit area.

• The population density of India in the year 2011 was 382 persons per sq km making it one of the most densely populated countries of the world.

• Densities vary from 1102 persons per sq km in Bihar to only 17 persons per sq km in Arunachal Pradesh.

• The reason for scarce (thinly distributed) population in some states such as Meghalaya, Orissa etc. are rugged terrain and unfavourable climatic conditions.

• Hilly, dissected and rocky nature of the terrain, moderate to low rainfall, shallow and less fertile soils have influenced population in Assam and most of the Peninsular states.

• The Northern Plains and Kerala in the south have high to very high population densities because of the flat plains with fertile soils and abundant rainfall.

Population Growth

Population Growth refers to the change in the number of inhabitants of a country or territory during a specific period of time, say during the last ten years. 

• The change can be expressed in two ways
→ in terms of absolute numbers
→ in terms of percentage change per year

• The absolute number is calculated by simply subtracting the earlier population (e.g. that of 1991) from the later population (e.g. that of 2011). It is referred to as the absolute increase.

• The rate of population is studied in percent per annum, e.g. a rate of increase of 2 percent per annum means that in a given year, there was an increase of two persons for every 100 persons in the base population. This is referred to as the annual growth rate.

• India’s population has been steadily increasing from 361 million in 1951 to 1210.6 million in 2011.

• Since 1981, however, the rate of growth started declining gradually as birth rates declined rapidly. But India has a very large population so when a low annual rate is applied to a very large population, it yields a large absolute increase.

• At this growth rate, India may overtake China in 2045 to become the most populous country in the world.

Processes of Population Change/Growth

• There are three main processes of change of population: birth rates, death rates and migration.

Birth rate is the number of live births per thousand persons in a year. In India, birth rates have always been higher than death rates.

Death rate is the number of deaths per thousand persons in a year. In India, there is rapid decline in death rates which is the main cause of growth of the Indian population.

• Till 1980, high birth rates and declining death rates resulted in higher rate of population growth but since 1981, birth rates have also started declining gradually, resulting in a gradual decline in the rate of population growth.

Migration is the movement of people across regions and territories. This can be internal (within the country) or international (between the countries).

Internal migration does not change the size of the population, but changes the distribution of population within the nation.

• In India, most migrations have been from rural to urban areas because of adverse conditions of poverty and unemployment in the rural areas and increased employment opportunities and better living conditions in city.

Effects of Migrations:
→ It changes the population size.
→ It also changes the population composition of urban and rural populations in terms of age and sex composition.

• In India, the rural-urban migration has resulted in a steady increase in the percentage of population in cities and towns.

Age Composition

• The age composition of a population refers to the number of people in different age groups in a country.

• The number and percentage of a population found within the children, working age and aged groups are notable determinants of the population’s social and economic structure.

• Population of country can be grouped into three categories:

→ Children (below 15 years): economically unproductive, need to be provided with food, clothing, education and medical care. Comprises 34.4% of total India's population.

→ Working Age (15-59 years): economically productive and biologically reproductive. Considered as working population. Comprises 6.9% of total India's population.

→ Aged (Above 59 years): can be economically productive though they may have retired. May be working but they are not available for employment through recruitment. Comprises 58.7% of total India's population.

Sex Ratio

Sex ratio is defined as the number of females per 1000 males in the population.

Importance: measuring the extent of equality between males and females in a society at a given time. In India, sex ratio has always remained unfavourable to females.

• Census year with Sex ratio:

 Census Year 
 Sex Ratio
1951 956
1961 951
1971 930
1981 934
1991 929
2001 933
2011 943

Literacy rates

• According to the Census of 2011, a person aged 7 years. and above who can read and write with understanding in any language, is treated as literate. Low levels of literacy are a serious obstacle for economic improvement.

• The literacy rate in the country as per the Census of 2011 is 73 per cent; 80.9 per cent for males and 64.6 percent for females.

Occupational Structure

• The distribution of the population according to different types of occupation is referred to as the occupational structure.

• Occupations are generally classified into three categories:

→ Primary activities (related to land): It includes agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fishing, mining and quarrying etc.

→ Secondary activities (related to industry): It includes manufacturing industry, building and construction work etc.

→ Tertiary activities (related to services): include transport,  communications, commerce, administration and other services.

Developed nations have a high proportion of people in secondary, and tertiary activities while developing nations have a higher proportion of their workforce engaged in primary activities.

•  In India, about 64 percent of the population is engaged only in agriculture. 13 percent are dependent on secondary and 20 percent are on tertiary sectors.

• In recent times, people are moving towards secondary and tertiary sectors because of growing industrialisation and urbanisation in recent times.


Health is an important component of population composition, which affects the process of development.

• There has been a significant improvement in health conditions in India. Death rates have declined from 25 per 1000 population in 1951 to 7.2 per 1000 in 2011 and life expectancy at birth has increased from 36.7 years in 1951 to 67.9 years in 2012.

• The improvement is due to:
→ Improvement in public health
→ Prevention of infectious diseases
→ Application of modern medical practices in diagnosis and treatment of ailments.

• Health is still a major concern for India because:
→ The per capita calorie consumption is much below the recommended levels and malnutrition afflicts a large percentage of our population.
→ Safe drinking water and basic sanitation amenities are available to only one- third of the rural population.

Adolescent Population

• The age-group of 10 to 19 years are considered as Adolescent Population. It constitutes one-fifth of the total population of India.

• They are most important future resources for any country. Nutrition requirements of adolescents are higher than those of a normal child or adult.

• In India, the diet available to adolescents is inadequate in all nutrients. A large number of adolescent girls suffer from anaemia (deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin).

• The awareness can be improved through the spread of literacy and education among adolescent girls.

National Population Policy

• The Government of India initiated the comprehensive Family Planning Programme in 1952 for improving individual health and welfare.

• It sought to promote responsible and planned parenthood on a voluntary basis.

National Population Policy (NPP) 2000 is the peak of years of planned efforts.

What NPP aims at?

→ It provides a policy framework for imparting free and compulsory school education up to 14 years of age,
→ Reducing infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000 live births
→ Achieving universal immunisation of children against all vaccine-preventable diseases,
→ Promoting delayed marriage for girls
→ Making family welfare a people-centered programme.

Relation between NPP 2000 and Adolescents

NPP 2000 identified adolescents as one of the major sections of the population that need greater attention.

• Besides nutritional requirements, the policy put greater emphasis on other important needs of adolescents including protection from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

• The programmes started by NPP 2000 for adolescents aims at:
→ Encouraging delayed marriage and child-bearing.
→ Education of adolescents about the risks of unprotected sex.
→ Making contraceptive services accessible and affordable.
→ Providing food supplements, nutritional services.
→ Strengthening legal measures to prevent child marriage.

Do you know from chapter

• Only Bangladesh and Japan have higher average population densities than India.

Kerala has a sex ratio of 1058 females per 1000 males, Pondicherry has 1001 females for every 1000 males, while Delhi has only 821 females per 1000 males and Haryana has just 861.

NCERT Solutions for Population

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