THE DEMOGRAPHIC STRUCTURE OF THE INDIAN SOCIETY
Demography, a systematic study of population, is a Greek term derived from two words ‘demos’ (people) and graphein (describe) description of people.
it studies births, deaths, migration, sex composition, etc.
Demography is broad of two types:—
Formal demography which is concerned with quantitative measurement and analysis of population change.
Social demography which deals with social, economic and political aspects of the population.
Since, before Independence India has conducted a ten yearly (decennial) census. So far, seven decennial censuses has been conducted since 1951 and the most recent one being 2011.
The demographic data collected is essential for the planning and implementation of state policies, for economic development and public welfare.
2. Theories of population
A. Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) states the fact that —
Population increases at a much faster rate than the means of subsistence.
Population rises in geometric progression (ie 2,4, 8, 16, 32, etc.) at a much faster rate than the means of human subsistence / agricultural production which grows in arithmetic progression (ie 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc.)
Prosperity can be achieved by controlling the growth of population through preventive checks - postponing marriage, sexual abstinence, celibacy, etc. and positive checks - through famines and diseases.
Criticism of Malthus’s theory :
Malthus was ‘criticized
(a) Food production and standards of living rise despite rapid population growth as seen in the historical experience of European countries.
(b) Poverty and starvation are caused not due is a rise in population but due to unequal distribution of economic resources (Liberal and Marxists).
B. Theory of Demographic Transition
“Population explosion occurs in a transitional stage with death rate being lowered through disease control; better health and nutrition facility and unchanged reproductive behavior.
3. Common concepts
a. Birth rate: number of live births in a given area during a given time per 1000 population.
b. Death rate: number of deaths in a given area during a given time per 1000 population.
c. Growth rate/rate of natural increase - the difference between birth rate and death rate.
d. Fertility rate: number of live births per 1000 women in the childbearing age group of 15-49 years.
e. Infant mortality rate: number of deaths of babies before the age of one year per 1000 live births.
f. Maternal mortality: number of women dying in childbirth per 1000 live birth.
g. Sex ratio: number of females per 1000 males in a given area at a specified time period.
i. The age structure of population - the proportion of persons in different age groups relative to the total population.
j. Dependency ratio: the proportion of dependents (elderly and children) with the working-age group (ie 15 - 64years)
A rising dependency ratio is a cause for worry in countries that are facing an aging population, since it becomes difficult for a relatively smaller proportion of working-age people to carry the burden of providing for a relatively larger proportion of dependents
falling dependency ratio can be a source of economic growth and prosperity due to the larger proportion of workers relative to non-workers.
k. When the difference is zero (or, in practice, very small) then we say that the population has ‘stabilized’, or has reached the ‘replacement level’, which is the rate of growth required for new generations to replace the older ones that are dying out.
I. Life expectancy: it refers to the estimated number of years that an average person is expected to survive.
m. Sonogram—an x-ray like diagnostic device based on ultra-sound technology; sometimes misused to determine the sex of the unborn child in mother’s womb.
4. Famines are caused by high levels of continuing poverty and malnutrition in an agro-climatic environment that is affected by variations in rainfall, lack of adequate means of transportation and communication as well as inadequate efforts on the part of the state.
5. Several factors may be held responsible for the decline in the child sex ratio including-
6. There are regional variations of low child sex ratio in India.
The regional pattern of low child sex ratios, in India, is that the lowest child sex ratios are found in the most prosperous regions of India.
Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat, and Maharashtra are among the richest states of India in terms of per capita incomes, and they are also the states with the lowest child sex ratios.
So, the problem of selective abortions is not due to poverty or ignorance or lack of resources.
7. Role of literacy in population growth
8. The epidemic has been controlled due to mass vaccination, better sanitation. But malaria, TB, diarrhea, and dysentery kill people even today.
9. The birth rate is slow to change due to the socio-cultural phenomenon. Low TFR in Kerala, Tamil Nadu Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra; high TFRs States - Bihar, MP, Rajasthan & UP,
10. Rural-urban differences also exist with respect to the vast majority of the population.
1. it is the mass media & communication channels that are gradually bringing in images of urban lifestyles & patterns of consumption into the rural villages, this bridges the gap between rural & urban.
2. The rapid growth in urbanization (town or city) has been attracting the rural population.
3. Those who cannot find work (or sufficient work) in the rural areas to the city in search of work.
4. This flow of rural-to-urban migration has also been accelerated by the continuous decline of common property resources like ponds, forests and grazing lands.
5. Now, these resources have been turned into private property, or they are exhausted. (Ponds may run dry or no longer provide enough fish; forests may have been cut down and have vanished...)
6. People no longer have access to these resources, but on the other hand, have to buy many things in the market that they used to get free. The opportunities for earning income are limited in the villages.
7. The city also may be preferred for social reasons, especially the relative anonymity it offers.
8. The fact that urban life involves interaction with strangers can be an advantage for different reasons. For the socially oppressed groups like the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, this may offer some partial protection from the daily humiliation they may suffer in the village where everyone knows their caste identity. The anonymity of the city also allows the poorer sections of the socially dominant rural groups to engage in low-status work that they would not be able to do in the village.
9. All these reasons make the city an attractive destination for the villagers.
11. National family planning program
1. it was introduced with the objective of slowing down the rate & pattern of population growth, through birth-control methods & other coercive measures as introduced during the Emergency Period (1975-1976)
2. With the coming of a new Govt., the program was renamed as National Family Welfare Program with a new set of guidelines to achieve the objectives.
12. Success and failure of the family planning program.
1. The growth rate of population has decreased.
2. People have started appreciating small family norms.
3. The infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality rate has been brought down.
4. Life expectancy has increased.
5. Achieved nearly universal awareness of the need for and methods of family planning.
1. The growth rate still continues to be high as compared to developed nations.
2. Coercive family planning program has been opposed by people( Vasectomy for. men & Tubectomy for women)
3. Lack of availability of reliable family planning methods.
13. The age structure of India’s population.
1. India is one of the youngest countries in the world—the majority of Indians tend to be young.
2. The average age is also less than that for most other countries.
3. The share of the 15-60 age group has increased slightly, while the share of the 60+ age group is very small
4. The present trend indicates that the 0-14 age group will reduce, thus the changing age structure could offer a demographic dividend for India.
5. There are. wide regional variations in the age structure. While a state like Kerala is beginning to acquire an age structure like that of the developed countries, some states like Uttar Pradesh have high proportions in the younger age groups and relatively low proportions among the aged.