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Social Demography

Social Demography

The word demography was used for the first time by A.Guillard a Frenchman in his book Elements de Statistique Humanine. It is a statistical study of population composition, distribution and trends. It is the analysis of population variables which includes stock and flow. The national census is the source of stock variable which is carried out periodically in most of the countries. The flow variables are the components of population change which include birth and death registrations.
  • Migration
  • Population and Social Demography

  • Population Growth
  • Components of Population Growth
  • Theories of Demography
  • Population Policy
  • Points to Remember

Population Growth

  • According to 2001 final census India's total population has crossed 1,027,015,247 out of which 531,277,078 are males and females are 495,738,169.

  • Of this number, 157,863,145 are children up to the age of six years out of which 81,911,041 are males and 75,952,104 are females.

  • India's landscape is just 2.4% of the total world area whereas its population is nearly 16.7% of the world population.

  • The population of India which at the turn of the 20th century was around 238.4 million increased to reach 1,027million at the dawn of the 21st century.

  • As per census 2001 the sex-ratio has gone up from 927 in 1991 to 933 in 2001.

  • The literacy rate increased from 52.21% to 65.38%.For males it has increased to 75.85% and for females 54.16%. The gap in male-female literacy rates has decreased from 24.84% points to 21.70% points in 2001.

  • The density of population has increased in all states and UTs between 1991 and 2001.Population density increased from 274 in 1991 to 324 persons per in 2001. West Bengal is the most densely populated state 904 followed by Bihar 880 and Kerala 819.

  • The percentage of urban population of total population has increased from 25.7% in 1991 to 27.8% in 2001.
  • The number of cities having a population of more than one million increased from 23 in 1991 to 35 in 2001.Population -wise UP is at the top followed by Maharashtra, Bihar and West-Bengal and so on.
  • The crude death rate in India has declined from 25.1 in 1951 to 9.8 in 1991 and to 8.7 in 1999 while the crude birth rate declined from 40.8 in 1951 to 29.5 in 1991 and to 26.1 in 1999.The child mortality rate stands at 23.9 (0-4 years per 1000 children).
  • The decadal growth rate in 1991-2001 was lowest in Kerala (9.42%) and highest in Nagaland (64.41%). The sex-ratio declined in the age-group 0-6 years from 945 to 927.Kerala has the highest (1058) sex-ratio while Haryana has the lowest (861).
  • The life expectancy for males is 62 years and for females it is 63 years.


The movement of people from one place to the other to stay on for a considerable period of time for various reasons is known as migration. It is one of the three components of the population change the other two being mortality and fertility. Migration is associated with the socio-economic development of the country. In India one of the side-effects of unprecedented population growth is industrialization and economic development which helped in a rapid increase in internal migratory movements.M.S.A Rao has written about different types of migration.

Internal migration: The movement of people from one region to another within the country. In internal migration there are different forms of migration such as " Rural-to-rural " Urban-to-urban migration " Rural to urban migration " Urban to rural migration.

International migration: Migration from one country to another country.

Emigration: It refers to the movement out of the particular country.

Immigration: It refers to the movement into a particular country.

Out migration: It is the movement out of a particular territory within a country.

In migration: It is the movement into a particular region within a country.
Migration Stream: It refers to the total number of moves made during a given migration interval which have a common area of origin and common area of destination.

Gross and Net migration: It is the total number of arrivals of migrants and departures of emigrants is known as gross migration.Net migration is the difference between the total number of persons who arrive and the total number of persons who leave.

Theories of Demography

The essay on the principle of population an important work of Malthus is a landmark in the history of population studies. The theme of the Essay was mainly to argue that the tendency of the population to grow faster in relation to its means of subsistence has led to human misery and placed several obstacles in the path of human progress. In 1803, Malthus published the second edition of his essay, a much expanded and changed edition which can't really be called a re print of the 1797 essay, for in the new edition the emphasis was more on arguments against the poor laws than on country arguments against the opinions of Condorcet and Godwin.

Neo- Maltusian theory
Neo-Malthusians maintain that although the gloomy predictions of Malthus may have been pre-mature they are basically correct.
According to Anti Malthusians' world's resources are adequate for a much larger population. Exploitation not over population is the basic cause of world hunger.

Demographic Transition theory
Two different interpretations have been given for this theory.One by Frank Notestein says that every country passes through three stages of population growth; 1. High birth rate and high death rate ii.High birth rate and low death rate (population explosion) iii.Low birth rate and low death rate. In western nations the desire for high standard of living led to the reductions in the birthrate .These nations are approaching a new equilibrium with both birthrates and death rates quite low and little population growth. This is explained by the theory of demographic transition -the theory that industrial and commercial development first cuts the death rate but creates a desire for smaller families and eventually cuts the birthrate.
The other theory is given by C.P Blacker .There are five phrases in this theory.
i.High stationary phase marked by high fertility and mortality rate.
ii.Early expanding phase marked by high fertility and high but declining mortality.
iii.Late Expanding phase with declining fertility but mortality declining more rapidly.
iv.Low stationary phase with low fertility and equally low mortality.
v. Declining phase with low mortality, low fertility and an excess of deaths over births.

Optimum population theory
According to Canan the propounder of this theory population must grow upto certain desired level after which further growth is harmful. The two important principles of this theory are:

1. When there is an increase in population than the ratio between the total population and the working population remains almost constant.
2. When at a point of time the population of a country increases the natural resources capital and technical know how do not change with the result that after sometime the law of diminishing returns begins to operate. This law provides that for maximum production all the sources of production should be combined in that proper ratio than it shall not be possible to have maximum production.

Population Policy

A policy is a plan of action ,statement of aims and ideals especially one made by a government ,a political party ,a business company etc.Population policy is an effort to affect the size, structure and distribution or characteristics of population. In its broader range it includes efforts to regulate economic and social conditions which are likely to have demographic consequences.

National Population Policy:
The immediate objective of this new policy is to address the unmet needs of contraception, health infrastructure, health personnel and to provide integrated service delivery for basic reproductive and child health care. The medium term objective is to bring the total fertility rated to replacement level by 2010.The long term objective is to achieve a stable population by 2045.In pursuance of these objectives 14 National Socio- Demogragraphic goals are formulated to be achieved by 2010.The important goals are:

1. Making school education compulsory and to reduce the drop-outs.
2. Reduce infant-mortality rate to 30 per 1000 live births.
3. Reduce maternal mortality rate to below 100 per 100000 live births.
4. Promote delayed marriage.
5. Achieve 80% institutional deliveries.
6. Prevent and control communicable diseases.
7. Promote vigorously the small family norm to achieve replacement levels of Total Fertility Rate.

The policy speaks about the formation of National Commission of Population under the chairmanship of the Prime -Minister to monitor and implement population policy and to guide planning implementations. The policy also suggests some promotional and motivational measures to promote adoption of the small family norm. The main features of the policy are

1. Reward panchayats and Zila Parishads for promoting small family norms.
2. Incentives to adopt two child norms.
3. Couples below poverty line, having sterilization with not more than two living children will be eligible for health insurance plan.
4. Strengthening abortion facility scheme.

population and social development

Population and social development are interrelated.
Population explosion leads to social problems like unemployment, poverty, low economic development etc.The social development which is determined by better health care facilities, education and high literacy rate and improvement in the standard of living of people are adversely affected due to high population. The benefits of government schemes do not reach the masses. A vast share of GDP is required to keep the level of per capita income constant. The weaker sections of the population do not get the share of the development.

For an equitable social development government should aim not only at controlling the unregulated human growth of numerical strength but also at checking the unregulated movement of the population and increasing concentration of people in the urbanized areas and providing adequate living space and other facilites.These goals have to be jointly linked with the formulation and implementation of policies aimed at population regulation and planning for harnessing both natural and human resources. Thus only population growth per se may not be perceived as a problem but its relation with the availability of resources may be viewed with great concern.

Causes of Population growth
i. There is a widening gap between birth and death rates.
ii. Better medical facilities and application.
iii. Improvement in transport facilities helps people to reach the medical and health facilities.
iv. Social factors like child marriage and early marriage.
v. Lack and adoption of family planning measures.
vi. Illiteracy

Consequences of population explosion
i. Heavy pressure on land.
ii. Food shortage.
iii.Housing problems.
iv. Unemployment
v. Illiteracy
vi. Economic loss
vii.Rate of economic development has been affected.
viii.Law and order problems.
ix. Emergence of slums and overburden of resources.
x. Lower standard of living
xi. Pollution problem
xii Shrinking of national resources.

Suggestions to lower the population growth
i. Emphasis on female literacy
ii. Adoption of family planning measures.
iii. Educating people through mass -media.
iv. Improvement in the quality of health and family welfare services.
v. Empowering women as decision makers.
vi. Coordination between states and the centers for the implementation of the population control policies.

points to remember

Crude Birth rate: births per 1000 people.

Sex ratio: It is the number of males per 100 females.

Demographic transition: Idea that industrialization brings birthrates and death rates into balance.

Fertility: Actual rate of reproduction.

Life expectancy: Average years of life expected at any given age.

Optimum population: The size of population which will permit the highest standard of living for an area at a given level of technology.

Fecundity: It refers to biological capacity for reproduction as distinct from actual reproduction which is called fertility.Ferility is always less than fecundity in all societies and varies considerably among different societies. The difference between fecundity and fertility is more pronounced among industrial societies as compared to preindustrial societies.

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