Population and Associated Issues UPSC

‘Population’ has different definitions in different subjects. In social science, ‘population’ is defined as the number of people living within a given political or geographical boundary. For the UPSC exam, you can define population simply as the total number of inhabitants in a region.

There are many aspects of ‘population.’ As an aspirant of the civil service examination, you must include the issues associated with it in your IAS preparation.

Kickstart your civil service exam preparation now and complement it with the links given below:

Population and Associated Issues in India PDF

India is the second most populated country with a population size of 1,400,457,794, as of 5th January 2022. According to the 2011 Census, the population density was 500 people/sq km area. The various issues of this huge population are discussed and made available in a PDF format on our website for UPSC 2022 candidates.

1. Population size and distribution

India contributes one-fifth of the world’s total population. From 1975 till 2010 end, the country’s population doubled. It is projected to cross China’s population by 2024-27, making India the most populated country in the world.

As of 2020, the population growth rate was 1.1%. Talking about the demography, about 50% of India’s total population is less than 25 years, and 65% is less than 35 years. So, it is majorly a country of young people with lots of prospects and employment needs.

The population of India is not uniformly distributed. The factors influencing this non-uniform distribution are landform, climate, soil, availability of freshwater, presence of natural resources like minerals, urbanisation, communication system, and industrialisation, etc.

2. Migration

A huge number of people in India keep migrating from one place to another due to economic and socio-political reasons. This migration can be permanent or temporary, intrastate or interstate. Due to political reasons, mass migration has been noticed from our neighbouring countries since the time of independence. However, environmental migration is a constant one. For better opportunities, too, many people shift from one place to another.

3. Health- an important feature of a population

There are several indicators that define a population’s health. These are birth rate, life expectancy, infant mortality rate, fertility rate, maternal mortality rate, etc.

  • India’s birth rate in 2022 is 17.163 births/1000 people. It is a 1.23% dip from last year’s.
  • Average mortality rate is 37 infants/1000 births.
  • India’s fertility rate is 2.2 live births per woman. Kerala has the lowest infant mortality rate, whereas UP ranks first.
  • Maternal mortality rate is 167 women/100000 women (2011-13 data).
  • Life expectancy has increased from 49.7 years to 67.9 years.

You must include these facts in your UPSC notes for better preparation.

Other links relevant from the IAS exam perspective are as follows:

Demographics of India

Distribution Of Population

Population Change – Factors, Implications, Measures

Factors Affecting Distribution of Population

National Population Register

Demographic Dividend

Other associated issues of India’s population

Here are a few more important facts for your current affairs quizzes:

  • The present average literacy rate in India is 76.26%.
  • Kerala has the highest literacy rate of 94%
  • Bihar has the lowest with 61.80%.
  • The present sex ratio in India is 1020 females per 1000 males.

All of these indicators are interrelated and are an important part of the UPSC syllabus.

Overpopulation, Its Problems and Measures to Control

Overpopulation is a real menace. It leads to an unhealthy competition for natural resources, pollution, unemployment, low per capita income, low standard of living, food insecurity, and lack of education and health facilities.

To control the problems of overpopulation, many measures are taken by the government from time to time. Some of these crucial measures are:

  • Family planning and normalising adaptation
  • Spread of education
  • Employment generation
  • Increasing the minimum age of marriage
  • Women empowerment

Each of these topics should be studied in detail for the IAS exam.

Also read: Population Control: Policy Imperatives: RSTV – Big Picture

National Population Policy

The family Planning Programme was launched by the GOI in 1952. Later, in 1976, the National Population Policy was introduced, followed by Policy Statement on Family Welfare Programme in 1977. The aim of NNP is to reduce the overall mortality rate and infant mortality rate and promote delayed marriage, among others.

Other Related Links

Citizenship in India

Census of India 2011

Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

Family Planning in India

What is the density of population of India?

World Population Day – 11th July

Frequently Asked Questions on Population and Associated Issues


What is the difference between population and demography?

Population means the number of people residing within a definite political and geographical boundary. On the other hand, demography means the study of the population using different statistical tools.


Why is India facing overpopulation problems?

The two main reasons behind India’s overpopulation are a. higher birth rate than the death rate, b. The fertility rate is reasonably high even after the implementation of many population control measures.


What are the recent changes in India’s demography?

The major recent change in India’s demography is seen in the sex ratio. A 2019-21 report of the National Family Health Survey claims there are 1020 women/1000 men in India, which is a positive change in many ways.


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