Census of India 2001: Provisional Population Data


At 00.00 hours of 1st March, 2001 the population of India stood at 1027,015,247 comprising of 531,277,078 males and 495,738,169 females. Thus, India becomes the second country in the world after China to cross the one billion mark. 

India added about 181 million persons between 1991-2001, which is more than the estimated population of Brazil, the fifth most populous country in the world. India’s share of the world population is 16.7 percent. The percentage decadal growth of the country as a whole has declined from 23.86 during 1981-1991 to 21.34 during 1991-2001. Thus, India has registered a fall in its decadal growth rate by 2.52 percent points, which is the sharpest decline since independence. Among the major states Bihar has recorded the highest increase in the percentage decadal growth from 28.47 during 1981-91 to 28.43 during 1991-2001. During 1991-2001, the lowest growth rate was recorded in Kerala 9.42 percent followed by Tamil Nadu (11.19) and Andhra Pradesh (13.86). Andhra Pradesh has shown the sharpest decline among all the major states (10.34 percent). The average annual exponential growth rate has declined from 2.14 percent in 1981-91 to 1.93 percent during 1991-2001.

Uttar Pradesh continues to be the most populous state in the country with 16.17 percent of India’s population followed by Maharashtra (9.42 percent) and Bihar (8.07 percent). In fact the population of Uttar Pradesh (166 million) is more than the estimated population of Pakistan. It would be interesting to note that almost two third of India’s population lives in States and Union territories which show decline in growth rate during the decade 1991-2001 as compared to the previous decade.

India now has 57 more persons per sq.km. as compared to 1991. West Bengal is the most densely populated state in the country with 904 persons living per sq.km. followed by Bihar with 880. Sex ratio (the number of females per 1000 males) for India is 933 females per 1000 males, which is an improvement of 6 points over 927 recorded in 1991 Census. Like the 1991 Census, the highest sex ratio (1058) has been reported in Kerala. Haryana has reported the lowest sex ratio of 861 among the major states. One of the interesting fact that has emerged, is that the sex ratio of child population in age group 0-6 is 927. The child sex ratio in 1991 was 945. The sharpest decline in sex ratio of the child population has been observed in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttranchal, Maharashtra and Union territory of Chandigarh.

The literacy rates among the population seven years and above for the country stands at 65.38 percent. The corresponding figures for males and females are 75.85 and 54.16 percent respectively. In other words three-fourths of the male population and more than half of the female population in the country are literate today.

Thus, the literacy recorded an impressive jump of 13.17 percentage points from 52.21 in 1991 to 65.38 in 2001. The increase of literacy rates among males and females are 11.72 and 14.87 percentage point respectively. It is heartening to observe that the gap in males and females literacy rates has decreased from 28.84 in 1991 Census to 21.70 percentage point in 2001.

One of the most significant aspects of literacy data thrown up by the Provisional Population Totals of Census of India, 2001, is that for the first time since independence the absolute number of illiterates have shown a decline. The decline is as large as 31.96 million during 1991-2001. This decline among males was 21.45 million and 10.51 million among females.

Kerala continues its lead in the literacy race with 90.92 percent followed by Mizoram 88.49 and Lakshadweep 87.52 percent. Bihar has recorded the lowest literacy rate of 47.53 percent in the country.

POPULATION OF INDIA Persons 1,027,015,247

Males 531,277,078

Females 495,738,169


Absolute Percentage

Persons 180,627,359 21.34

Males 91,944,020 20.93

Females 88,683,339 21.79


SEX RATIO (females per 1,000 males) 933

POPULATION IN THE AGE GROUP 0-6 Absolute Percentage to total population

Persons 157,863,145 15.42

Males 81,911,041 15.47

Females 75,952,104 15.36

LITERATES Absolute Percentage to total population

Persons 566,714,995 65.38

Males 339,969,048 75.85

Females 226,745,947 54.16


1.The population of India includes the estimated population of entire Kachchh district, Morvi, Maliya-Miyana and Wankaner talukas of Rajkot district, Jodiya taluka of Jamanagar district of Gujarat State and entire Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh where population enumeration of Census of India 2001 could not be conducted due to natural calamities.

2.For working out density of India, the entire area and population of those portions of Jammu and Kashmir which are under illegal occupation of Pakistan and China have not been taken into account.

3.Figures shown against ‘Population in the age-group 0-6’ and ‘Literates’ do not include the figures of entire Kachchh district, Morvi, Maliya-Miyana and Wankaner talukas of Rajkot district, Jodiya taluka of Jamanagar district and entire Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh where population enumeration of Census of India 2001 could not be conducted due to natural calamities.

Copy Right: Registrar General of India, Government of India


Census 2001 State-wise Data - Literacy Rates, 2001 District-wise Population, 2001 Analysis of Census 2001 Data Rural-Urban Literacy Rates: District-specific - Rural-Urban Distribution of Population: District-specific - Data About Indian Economy - Human Development Index, 2002: India - Site Map

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