Uttar Pradesh and Bihar — Hindi heartland states that account for 25 % of India’s 121-crore population — have posted a decline in their decadal growth rate of population, as India witnesses its steepest decline in decadal growth rate since independence.
Significantly, the decadal rates of population growth in the two states had increased in the last census despite a high base. India registered a 17.64 % decadal growth rate in the 2011 census — a 3.9 percentage point decline over the figure of 21.54% in 2001. The two populous states too showed similar trends.
UP’s population grew by 20.1% from 2001 to 2011, more than 5 percentage points lower than its decadal growth of 25.9% in the previous decade. The 2001 figure was a marginal increase over the previous decade.
Bihar’s decadal growth rate of population from 2001 to 2011 was 25.1 %, about 3 percentage points lower than the 28.6% between 1991 and 2001.
The 2001 figure was, however, 5 percentage points higher than the 1991 census figure of 23.38%, which showed that up to 10 years back, population of Bihar was increasing at a higher pace than before.
UP is home to 16% of India’s population and Bihar 9%. “It is a good sign. If we keep increasing our population, how will we provide employment?” said economist Ashish Bose.
JNU economist Praveen Jha, however, adds that the spurt in Bihar’s population in the previous decade was surprising.
Rajasthan’s decadal growth of population has declined from 28.4% to 21.4% from the last census to this one, and MP’s corresponding figure has also gone down from 24.3% to 20.3%.
The Kerala figure — the second lowest in India — is a decline from 9.4% in 2001, but, Tamil Nadu has posted a rise in its decadal population growth from 11.7 % in the 1991-2001 decade.