Indian Demographics

By pjain      Published Aug. 2, 2020, 4:39 a.m. in blog Humanities-History-Blog   

India 4000+ Years

Age Demographics

Religious Differentials

Religion Population %
All 1211 100%
Hindu 966 80%
Muslim 172 14%
Christian 28 2.3%
Sikhism 21 1.7%
Buddhist 8.4 0.7%
Jainism 4.5 0.37%
Others 7.9 0.66%
  • Data as of 2011 census

Timeline of Indian Population

Year India m %/C Life TFR Marry IMR Notes
10k 0.1
4000bc 1 4%
2000bc 6 9%
500bc 25 10%
400bc 28 13%
200bc 42 6.3%
1 AD 75 6.5%
600 75 0%
1100 81 1.5%
1500 110 8%
1650 150 36% 36
1750 200 33% British controlled most of India - population growth STOPPED
1860 180 - 11% 26 5.9 Queen drained India wealth, killed millions esp. after 1850s revolts
1901 295 240% 23.5 5.85 Snapback healing as revenue best improved by railways, letting Indians breathe/live some
1921 319 47% 25 5.8 WWI hurt India too
1931 353 31.5 5.85
1941 389 32.6 5.85
1951 361 -1.5% 35.4 5.85 Churchill, Bengal famine, and Wartime depradations - finally kicked the bloody brits out
1961 440 6% growth/decade=21.6%
1971 548 800% 17.2 1960s famine, green revolution
1981 683 800% 5.4 18.3 Indira emergency to curb population
1991 846 750% 4.6 19.3
1998 1,000
2001 1,028 600% 3.65 20.2
2011 1,210 410% 2.97 22.2
2019 1,352 1.13%
2021 1,387e 290% 2.14%
2030 1,500e 118%
2050 1,600e 61% Estimated peak population!
2100 1,090e -54% 1.24% New Estimate from Lancet

Mughal Era 1600+ - India population was 20m+ more than ENTIRE Europe at the time

Under the Mughal Empire, India experienced an unprecedented economic and demographic upsurge due to Mughal - Agrarian reforms that intensified agricultural production - partly due to tithe system vs prior "wage-serfs" that benefited from more - Proto-industrialization that established India as the most important centre of manufacturing in international trade, - Higher urbanisation for its time as 15% of the population lived in urban centres (higher than 1800s British-India or Europe)

Nizamuddin Ahmad (1551–1621) reported that, under Akbar's reign, Mughal India had 120 large cities and 3,200 townships.

A number of cities in India had a population between a quarter-million and half-million people

India had largest cities including Agra the capital of the Mughal empire with up to 800,000 people and Dhaka (in Bengal Subah) with over 1 million people.

Mughal India also had a large number of villages, with 455,698 villages by the time of Aurangzeb (reigned 1658–1707).

In the early 18th century, the average life expectancy in Mughal India was 35 years. In comparison, the average life expectancy for several European nations in the 18th century were 34 years in early modern England, up to 30 years in France, and about 25 years in Prussia.

British Era Backsliding on Rapacious Draining Enslavement

Mortality rates fell in the period 1920–45 by nearly 9 years, primarily due to biological immunisation.

Also partial self governance and from before, during and after WWI local manufacturing was emerged rapidly as UK simply could not provide goods during wartime.

Other factors included rising incomes, better living conditions, improved nutrition, a safer and cleaner environment, and better official health policies and medical care.

Post Independence - Nehru Dynasty

In the 1950s and 1960s, much mortality decline resulted from low-cost health like immunizations, initial decline in maternal/infant deaths as middle class started going to hospitals for delivery. Better food and nutrition for both mom and child helped. But the improvement was still minimal.

A MAJOR problem was the lack of clean water and open air defacation which left water borne disease open to public. This is known as famous "Delhi Belly" - the Covid-19 from 1947 through 2010+ for majority of poor exposed to germs in public.

1971+ Mortality dipped rapidly, esp. Maternal/Infant but Economy did not grow, Poverty Remained!

India experienced substantial mortality decline in the decades after 1971. By 2016 life expectation probably averaged about 68 years.

Much of the mortality decline resulted from narrow technical developments (e.g. immunizations) and was not always matched by commensurate advances in the state of the population’s health.

India’s prospects did not look promising at the start of the 1970s. Two decades of state direction under the aegis of the Planning Commission had been associated with only sluggish economic growth. Poverty remained widespread. There were mounting food shortages.

Whereas between 1947 and 1971 the level of per capita income grew at an average annual rate of 1.5 per cent, between 1971 and 2011 it grew at about 3.4 per cent.

1975-77 Sterilization Backlash led to VERY SLOW TFR decline

Following Mrs Gandhi’s election victory in 1971, even the integrity of the country’s democratic institutions appeared to be under some threat. The Emergency of 1975–77 led to sterilization excesses, and there was a backlash against the family planning programme. Subsequently, political leaders generally avoided talking about family planning and population growth. Partly as a result, the pace of fertility decline during 1971–2016 was slow.

By 2016 the average level of fertility was about 2.4 births per woman.

Consequently, between 1971 and 2016 the population grew from 548 million to more than 1.3 billion.

1991+ Reforms and Rapid Economic Growth

Forex Desperation, Devaluing and Reengagement with World Economy/Trade

At the 2001 census 72.2% of the population lived in about 638,000 villages[52] and the remaining 27.8% lived in more than 5,100 towns and over 380 urban agglomerations.

2001+ TFR starts to decline rapidly as Fertility seen to boost Prosperity, Well Being AND Life Expectancy

International experience about the ways like better education of women, delaying birth and better access to contraception,etc. via which fertility and mortality could be reduced. The shock was that both prosperity, lifespan and people’s health was improved.

The realization in the 1980s that China had been exceptionally successful in raising life expectation came as something of a shock. Also, from the 1990s onwards there was an increasing—and rather awkward—recognition that even in Muslim countries Bangladesh minimal efforts for women fertility was surprisingly effective in promoting contraception and reducing fertility. This has been repeated in most Muslim countries except African countries where the fertility rates are still very high.

It was not until the 2001–11 intercensal decade that there was an appreciable fall in the rate of population growth. * By 2017 TFR fell to 2.14 approximating the replacement rate of 2.14.

2015+ BJP Era - no real reforms, Covid-19

  • It is likely Covid-19+ that TFR will dip rapidly below replacement.
  • Hinduism tends to boost female education, and the Modi govt cutting of Muslim participation via CCA, Kashmir etc.

A MAJOR problem was the lack of clean water and open air defacation which left water borne disease open to public. This is known as famous "Delhi Belly" - the Covid-19 from 1947 through 2010+ for majority of poor exposed to germs in public.

Comparing India with Other Countries to 2100

  • India would by 2100 be largest in population, Nigeria#2 at 791m, China 732, USA 336, Pakistan 248m.
  • Age distribution would alter by 2100 >65 2.4b 0-20 1.7b

  • TFRs seem to change drastically as continued trends will hasten declines in fertility and slow population growth. 1.Higher female educational attainment - delays onset of childbearing 5-10+ years from 18 to 28+

    1. Access to contraception 2050 - 151 countries with TFR<replacement TFR of 2.1 2100 - 183 countries with TFR<replacement TFR of 2.1
  • Many countries will see drastic population declines between 2017 and 2100 >50% decline Japan, Thailand, and Spain 48% decline in China

Country 2017pop 2100e PeakPop/yr TFR 2017/2100
India 1381 1093 1606/2048 2.14/1.29
China 1412 732 1432/2024 1.53/1.47
Pakistan 214 248 314/2062 3.4/1.31
Bangladesh 157 81 173/2039 2.00/1.19
Nepal 30 18 34/2043 3.4/1.31
  • However India is likely to cut births MUCH faster, it is doubtful if peak reaches 1600m - it may saturate between 1400-1500.
  • BUT India's TFR seems to fall too much - why is 2100 TFR: China's 1.47, Western EU countries - France 1.8, Italy 1.23,Germany 1.35


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