What happened in India in the 1970s

Population growth in India

Between 1960 and 2019, India's population rose from 449.48 million to 1.37 billion. This means an increase of 204.0 percent in 59 years. India recorded the highest increase in 1979 with 2.63%. The smallest increase in 2019 with 1.02%. During the same period, the total population of all countries worldwide increased by 152.9 percent.

The average age in India increased by 0.33 years from 2012 to 2013 from 26.07 to 26.40 years (median value).

Around 34% of the population live in the larger cities of the country. This increasing trend of urbanization is increasing by 2.3% annually.

›Population growth in an international comparison

Back to overview: India

Population development in India since 1960

(Figures in millions of inhabitants) After China, India is the country with the second largest population. These two countries lead the top of the most populous countries by a considerable margin. In terms of the area, this is considerable, because an impressive 400 people live in one square kilometer. For comparison: in Germany this is only slightly more than half, in the USA not even a tenth.

At the same time, India is a country with extreme urbanization. Only a few people live in the desert and mountain regions, in some cities more than 25,000 inhabitants live on one square kilometer. In Berlin there are just 4,000. Over 60% of the population live in the few large cities along the fertile parts of the country. With 40 million cities, India is the country with the most large metropolises after China.

Historical development of the population

At the beginning of the 18th century India had a population of just 137 million. That number rose to about 255 million in 100 years and fluctuated 20% up and down again during the 18th century. Population growth has only increased dramatically since the beginning of the 20th century, but has been losing momentum for around 50 years. It is believed that India will overtake China by 2025, when it will become the most populous country on earth.

Although life expectancy in India, at around 68 years, is significantly behind countries such as Germany (81 years) or the USA (79 years), the birth rate is significantly higher. In the early 1970s, every woman had an average of 5 children. It is only slowly declining and is now just over 2 children per woman (Germany: 1.6). A third of India's population is now under 15 years old. The average age is just 26 years.

Reasons of strong growth

Increasing industrialization and the associated improvement in the health system and food production processes have had an impact on population growth in India as well as in many other countries in the last century. In India, however, there is also a lack of coordinated basic provision and pension that everyone can access. As a result, having as many offspring as possible is often the only sensible retirement provision that a family can afford. This "generation contract" is part of a long culture in many primarily poorer countries.

Death and Birth Rates in India

The population growth results from the birth rate, the death rate and the migration rate. Using the example of 2019 in the graphic: The population in India rose by around 13,800,000. In the same year, the death rate was 7.3 per 1,000 people (~ 9,827,000 cases) and the birth rate was 17.6 per 1,000 people (~ 23,866,000 births). As a result, around 239,000 residents have migrated to other countries.

On average over the past 10 years, 9,469,601 people died per year in India. The number of births was 24,752,036 annually.

The development of births and deaths is compared in the following graphic. All data relate to births and deaths per 1000 inhabitants.

Birth rate death rate

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