Key takeaways from the latest SRS data
SRS is the only official source of various demographic indicators in India except the census.
The office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, which works under the home ministry, has released the report of the Sample Registration System (SRS) for 2019. SRS is the only official source of various demographic indicators in India except the census. Here are five charts that summarise the key demographic trends.
India not getting younger anymore; working population on the rise
The share of India’s young population, which comprises people below 15 years of age, fell to 25.3% of the overall population in 2019 from 41.2% in 1971. The share of the working-age population, or people between 15 and 59 years of age, increased to 66.7% in 2019 from 53.4% in 1971. The share of elderly people, or those above 60 years of age, increased to 8% in 2019 from 5.3% in 1971.
The headline numbers at the national level hide significant regional variations. For example, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand were the three youngest states. The share of young people in Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh was 33.5% and 29.1%, respectively, in 2019. This number was the lowest in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Punjab.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu were the oldest states with an elderly population at 12.9% and 11.3%, respectively, of the total population in 2019. Delhi had the highest proportion of working-age population at 76.1% in 2019. This number was the lowest in Bihar and Uttarakhand.
The imbalance between male and female birth rates has stayed almost the same between 2017-19 and 2009-11. In 2017-19, there were 904 females born for every 1,000 males. In 2009-11, there were about 906 females born per 1,000 males in the country. There are more female births in urban than rural areas.
The central government plans to introduce a law to increase the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. SRS data show that while there is a large number of women who were married before 21, it has been declining steadily. In 2019, about 37% of women in the country married before 21 years. Among the states, West Bengal had the highest share of women who got married before 21, followed by Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. Delhi had the least number of women who were married before they were 21. These numbers are cumulative and do not capture current data.
About 52.9% of total births in India were to women who had their first child in 2019. And about 11.7% of the live births were a third child.