It is 5.96 per cent of India's aggregate

After showing a declining trend since 1971, the decadal growth of population in Tamil Nadu has registered a 15.6 per cent increase between 2001 and 2011 in the latest provisional population figures released on Friday by the Director of Census Operations in the State.

According to the provisional population data sheet as of March 1, released by S. Gopalakrishnan, Director of Census Operations, the population in the State increased from 62,405,679 in 2001 to 72,138,958 in 2011. The rise in decadal growth was 4 percentage points from the 11.7 recorded in 2001.

The decadal variation of population had so far been on a declining trend clocking 22.3 per cent in 1971, 17.5 per cent in 1981, 15.4 per cent in 1991 and 11.2 per cent in the previous Census.

Ranked 7th in populous terms, the State's population constitutes 5.96 per cent of India's aggregate.

While Tamil Nadu being ranked 23rd in terms of decadal population growth indicates that the variation has been relatively higher in most other States, it is significant that for India as a whole, the decadal growth actually dropped from 21.5 per cent in 2001 to 17.6 per cent in 2011.

The increase in decadal growth in population has occurred at a time when the 0-6 population over the ten-year phase has dropped from 7,235,160 in 2001 to 6,894,821 in 2011. Taken together with stable birth rates, a higher population growth rate could be as much an indicator of longevity courtesy of a better organised health delivery system as the robust industrialisation that has triggered an influx of job-seekers from other States.

Some of the highest by percentage variations in decadal population growth between 2001-2011 has been recorded in the industrial districts of Kancheepuram (19.2 to 38.7), Thiruvallur (23.1 to 35.2), Madurai (7.4 to 18) and Karur (9.5 to 15.1). The variation in Coimbatore was marginal from 17 per cent in 2001 to 19.1 per cent in 2011 and from 25.3 per cent to 28.7 per cent in Tiruppur.

The highest variation in decadal population increase has been recorded in Sivaganga where it rose four-fold (4.7 per cent to 16.1 per cent), while in other districts the decadal growth virtually doubled as in the cases of Kanyakumari (4.7 to 11.2), Ramanthapuram (6.1 to 12.6) and Theni (4.3 to 13.7).

The only district to slip into a negative population growth is The Nilgiris where the decadal growth fell from 7.3 per cent in 2001 to minus 3.6 per cent in 2011.