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Chapter 1 Population Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition Class 12 Geography Notes

Chapter 1 Population Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition Class 12 Geography Notes will make it easier for the students to comprehend the concepts due to use of easy language. These Class 12 revision notes will develop retention capability of every students and will reflect the main themes and topics of the chapter. With the help of NCERT Solutions for Chapter 1 Population Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition you will can come up with better answers and lay out the main point effectively.

Chapter 1 Population Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition Class 12 Geography Notes

Class 12 Geography Notes Chapter 1 Population Distribution, Density, Growth and Composition


• India is the second most populous country after China in the world with its total population of 1,210 million (2011).

• India’s population is larger than the total population of North America, South America and Australia put together.

• Population data are collected through Census operation held every 10 years in our country.

Distribution of Population

• India has a highly uneven pattern of population distribution. UP has the largest share of population followed by Maharashtra, Bihar and West Bengal.

• U.P., Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh along with Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Gujarat, together account for about 76 per cent of the total population of the country. On the other hand, share of population is very small in the states like Jammu & Kashmir (1.04%), Arunachal Pradesh (0.11%) and Uttarakhand (0.84%) inspite of theses states having fairly large geographical area.

• Physical Factors: Climate along with terrain and availability of water largely determines the pattern of population distribution. Northern Indian plains, coastal plains – deltas have higher concentration because of favourable physical factors unlike the mountains and deserts areas of our country where it is either too cold or too warm/dry.

• Socio Economic, Historical Factors: Evolution of settled agriculture and agricultural development, pattern of human settlement, development of transport network, industrialization and urbanization are significant factors in determining population distribution. ​People settle in areas with favourable terrain, soil, climate, access to water (Ganga plains), minerals, industries (mining and industrial towns) and urban centres where conducive factors for settlement are available.

Density of Population

• Density of population, is expressed as number of persons per unit area. It helps in getting a better understanding of the spatial distribution of population in relation to land.

• The density of population in India (2011) is 382 persons per sq km.

• It varies widely in the states from 17 persons per sq km in Arunachal Pradesh to 11,320 persons per sq km in the NCT, Delhi. Bihar has the highest density with 1106 persons per sq km.

• The hilly/rugged/desert areas have relatively low density due to terrain and harsh climate. Density is a crude measure of human and land relationship.

• To get a better insight into the human-land ratio in terms of pressure of population on total cultivable land, the physiological and the agricultural densities should be found out which are significant for a country like India having a large agricultural population.

• Physiological density = total population / net cultivated area

• Agricultural density = total agricultural population / net cultivable area

• Agricultural population includes cultivators and agricultural labourers and their family members.

Growth of population

• It is the change in the number of people living in a particular area between two points of time. Its rate is expressed in percentage. Population growth has two components namely; natural and induced.

• Natural growth is analysed by assessing the crude birth and death rates, the induced components are explained by the volume of inward and outward movement of people in any given area.

• The decadal and annual growth rates of population in India are both very high and steadily increasing over time. The annual growth rate of India’s population is 1.64 percent (2011).

• There are four phases of population growth in India (2011). ​

→ ​Phase I: 1901-1921 – Period of stagnant of growth since in this period growth rate was very low. Both the birth rate and death rate were high keeping the rate of increase low. Poor health and medical services, illiteracy of people at large and inefficient distribution system of food and other basic necessities were largely responsible for a high birth and death rates in this period.

→ ​Phase II: 1921-1951 – Period of steady growth. An overall improvement in health and sanitation throughout the country brought down the mortality rate. The crude birth rate remained high in this period leading to higher growth rate than the previous phase. 

→ ​Phase III: 1951-1981 – Period of population explosion. The average annual growth rate was as high as 2.2 percent. After the Independence, the development activities through planning helped to improve living conditions leading to high Birth Rate. Apart from this, ‘international migration’ was also responsible bringing immigrants from other countries.

→ ​Phase IV: Post 1981 till present. The growth rate of country’s population though remained high, has started slowing down gradually. A downward trend of crude birth rate is held responsible for such a population growth. This was, in turn, affected by an increase in the mean age at marriage, improved quality of life particularly education of females in the country.

Regional Variation in Population Growth

• The States like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry, and Goa show a low rate of growth not exceeding 20 percent over the decade.

• A continuous belt of states comprising Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand, the growth rate on the average remained 20-25 percent.

• During 2001-2011, the growth rates of almost all States and Union Territories have registered a lower figure compared to the previous decade.

• At present the share of adolescents i.e., up to the age group of 10-19 years is about 20.9 percent (2011), among which male adolescents constitute 52.7 per cent and female adolescents constitute 47.3 per cent.

• The Government of India has undertaken certain policies to impart proper education to the adolescent groups so that their talents are better channelised and properly utilised.

• The National Youth Policy is one example which has been designed to look into the overall development of our large youth and adolescent population.

→ ​The National Youth Policy (NYP–2014) launched in February 2014 proposes a holistic ‘vision’ for the youth of India, which is “To empower the youth of the country to achieve their full potential, and through them enable India to find its rightful place in the community of nations”. The NYP–2014 has defined ‘youth’ as persons in the age group of 15–29 years.

→ The Government of India also formulated the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in 2015 to provide an umbrella framework to all skilling activities being carried out within the country, and to align these to common standards and link skilling with demand centres.

Population Composition

• It is the field of study with coverage of age, sex, residence, ethnic characteristics, tribes, language, religion, literacy and education, marital status, occupational characteristics, etc.

Rural – Urban Composition

• Compositions of population by their place of residence is an important indicator of socio-economic status of a country. In India 68.8% live in the villages.

• ​U.T. has smaller percentage of small rural population (Dadra and Nagar Haveli have 53% of rural people).

•​ Distribution of rural population reveals that both at Intra and Inter state levels, the relative degree of urbanisation and extent of rural-urban migration regulated the concentration of rural people.

•​ Urban population has increased in almost all the states and UTs – as a result of development in socio-economic conditions and rural-urban migration.

•​ Urban population is high along the main transport links in the North Indian plains, the industrial areas of Kolkata, Mumbai and other areas.

• ​It is low in the agriculturally stagnant areas of middle and lower Ganga plains, Telangana, non-irrigated western Rajasthan, remote hilly areas, desert, flood prone areas of Peninsular India, etc.

Linguistic Composition

•​ According to linguistic survey of India (1903- 1928), there were 179 languages and 544 dialects in India. In modern India, there are about 22 scheduled languages and many non-scheduled languages.

• ​Among the scheduled languages, the speakers of Hindi have the highest percentage. The smallest language groups are Sanskrit, Bodo and Manipuri speakers (2011).

• ​The speakers of major Indian languages belong to four languages families with their sub families and branches.

→ Four languages families are Austric, Dravidian, Sino-Tibetan and Indo-European.

Religious Composition

• Religion affects the cultural and political lives of most Indians.

•​ The spatial distribution of religious communities shows that certain states have more people.

•​ Hindu (70%–90%) form a major group in many states except the borders along Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tibet and in some scattered areas within the country.

•​ Muslim, the largest religious minority are mainly in J.K, some districts of West Bengal, Kerala, U.P and in the UTs of Delhi and Lakshadweep.

•​ Christians are most concentrated in the rural areas of Chotanagpur, hills of Manipur, Goa, Kerala, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, etc.

•​ Sikhs are concentrated in Punjab, Haryana  and Delhi.

•​Jains and Buddhists form the smallest religious groups and are concentrated in selected areas. Jains in urban areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra while the Buddhists in Maharashtra, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh, Tripura, Lahul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh.

• ​The other religions of India include Zoroastrians, tribal and other indigenous faiths and beliefs concentrated in small pockets scattered throughout the country.

Composition of Working Population

• ​The population of India according to their economic status is divided into three groups, namely; main workers, marginal workers and non-workers.

• ​In India, the proportion of workers (both main and marginal) is only 39.8 per cent (2011) leaving a vast majority of about 60 per cent as non-workers.

• ​The proportion of working population, of the states and Union Territories show a moderate variation from about 39.6 per cent in Goa to about 49.9 per cent in Daman and Diu.

• ​About 54.6 percent of total working population are cultivators and agricultural labourers, whereas only 3.8% of workers are engaged in household industries and 41.6 % are other workers including non- household industries, trade, commerce, construction and repair and other services.

• ​Male workers out-number female workers in all the three sectors.

Promoting Gender Sensitivity through ‘Beti Bachao–Beti Padhao’ Social Campaign

• The division of the society into male, female and transgender is believed to be natural and biological. But, in reality, there are social constructs and roles assigned to individuals which are reinforced by social institutions.

• These biological differences become the basis of social differentiations, discriminations and exclusions.

• ​ The Government of India has duly acknowledged the adverse impacts of these discriminations and launched a nationwide campaign called ‘Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao’.

• The number of female workers is relatively high in primary sector, though in recent years there has been some improvement in work participation of women in secondary and tertiary sectors.

• The spatial variation of work participation rate in different sectors in the country is very wide. 

→ The states like Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland have very large shares of cultivators.

→ On the other hand states like Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh have higher proportion of agricultural labourers.

→ The highly urbanised areas like Delhi, Chandigarh and Puducherry have a very large proportion of workers being engaged in other services.
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