Making Sense of Census 2011

Its Official! The 'billion plus' term that was being used since the end of the past decade has been validated by the 1.2 billion count as concluded by Census of India 2011. Here is a quick glance at the numbers (whew!) and some interesting comparisons that I thought I should share with you:

1. We added 181 million or about 18 crore of people in the past 10 years, since 2001. So we produced about 1.8 crore babies per year; 50,000 babies per day; 2000 babies per hour and about 35 babies per minute!!!

2. Indians constitute about 17.5 % of the world's population, while Chinese constitute for 19.4%. Together, Indians and Chinese account for almost 37% of the world's entire population. 

3. If we add the entire populations of United States, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan, their total would come to about 1.2 billion.

4. The population of Uttar Pradesh (about 20 crores or 199 million) and Maharashtra (about 10 crores or 100 million), two most populous states, alone account for the entire population of United States.

5. The growth rate, with the addition of 181 million persons, is something to cheer about since it has declined from about 21% to about 16% in the last decade.

6. The cause for worry, highlighted by this Census, is the ratio of girls (women) against the boys (men). There are only 914 women for 1000 men in our country, the lowest ever recorded post Independence.

7. The Literacy has grown from an average literacy of 65% to about 74%. So many more people in India today can read and write their own names! 

8. Uttar Pradesh is the most populated (199 million or about 20 crores)state, while Lakshadweep is least populated (about 65,000 people). Talk about diversity!

9. The highest population density is in Delhi, with about 37,000 persons/sq km and lowest population density is in Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh with 1 person / sq km. The average density is about 384 persons/sq km, an increase from 325 in 2001.

10. One study states that due to the strict population control measures taken by China (it not being a democracy) average Chinese woman bears about 1.5 children in her lifetime, while an average Indian woman bears 2.7 children.

11. The Cost of the Census 2011 was Rs.22000 million or Rs 2200 Crores, which comes to approx. Rs 19 per person. In comparison, the 2001 Census was conducted at a cost of Rs. 14030 million or Rs 1403 crores and Rs.14 per person. 

Interesting, isn't it! If you wish to look up some more Census related information, check out

The point that these numbers are making, I feel, is that we need to take 'us' more seriously! While we grow and multiply, we need serious rethinking of our 'power'. Can we, with these numbers, continue to aspire to 'consume' what the developing world in consuming? Can we, with these numbers, aspire to change the course of human development towards Sustainability? The power is in the numbers!


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