Data: Is India facing population explosion as the Prime Minister claimed?

August 21, 2019 12:45 pm | Updated 03:13 pm IST

Photo for representation.

Photo for representation.

In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched upon the need to control 'population explosion' in India. However, the growth rate of the country's population has been falling since 1971. The Total Fertility Rate (the average number of children borne by a woman in her lifetime) has also been falling across most States.

India's population growth rate peaked between 1961 and 1971 and has been falling since. The Census of 2011 counted 121 crore people in the country.


While Total Fertility Rate in rural areas remains higher than in urban areas, it has been declining at a faster rate than the latter, according to successive National Family Health Surveys.


Among bigger States (as defined by the Sample Registration Survey), Jammu & Kashmir and NCT of Delhi registered the biggest drop in Total Fertility Rate (in percentage terms) from 2007 to 2017, while Kerala and Tamil Nadu showed no change.

The size of the circle in the below chart indicates the State’s population as a percentage of total population.


The visualisation also shows that in India, the average Total Fertility Rate is reaching replacement level -- that is, the rate at which a population exactly replaces its numbers from one generation to the next without migration.

Despite a high decrease over the years, the Total Fertility Rate has remained high in States like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Increase in population was highest in Bihar between 2001 and 2011 and lowest in Kerala. The chart below lists the States (in percentage terms).


Note: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Uttarakhand were not considered as data was not available.

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