Population Notes Class 9 Notes NCERT and MCQs

23-08-2023 17:14 PM IST Priyanka Chaudhary

This chapter discusses the important terms and concepts of human geography. The population is an important element in social studies. The population size, distribution, growth and characteristics give the basic background for understanding all aspects of environment.

Census: Census is an official enumeration of the population done periodically.

  • In India, the first census was held in the year 1872.
  • The first complete census was taken in the year 1881.
  • After that, censuses have been held regularly every tenth year.
  • The latest census or 16th census was to be held in the year 2022 but has been further delayed to 2023-24.

India’s Population Size and Distribution by Numbers

  • India’s population as on March 2011 is 1,210.6 million, which is 17.5 percent of the total world’s population.
  • As per 2011 Census data, Uttar Pradesh (199 million population) is the most populous state of India accounting for 16% of India’s population.
  • Sikkim has a population of just about 0.6 million and Lakshadweep has only 64,429 people.
  • Almost half of India’s population lives in just five states: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Rajasthan, the biggest state in terms of area, has only 5.5% of the total population of India.

India’s Population Distribution by Density

  • Population density is calculated as the number of persons per unit area.
  • India is one of the most densely populated countries of the world. Only Bangladesh and Japan have higher average population densities than India.
  • The population density of India in the year 2011 was 382 persons per sq km.
  • Densities vary from 1,102 persons per sq km in Bihar to only 17 persons per sq km in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Rugged terrain and unfavorable climatic conditions are mainly responsible for sparse population in these areas.
  • Assam and most of the Peninsular states have moderate population densities.
  • The Northern plains and Kerala in the south have high to very high population densities because of the flat plains with fertile soils and abundant rainfall.

Population Growth and Processes of Population change

Population is a dynamic phenomenon. The numbers, distribution and composition of the population keeps on changing and are influenced by the interaction of the three processes, namely — births, deaths and migrations.

Population Growth

  • Growth of population refers to the change in the number of inhabitants of a country/territory during a specific period of time.
  • Such a change can be expressed in two ways:

1. In terms of absolute numbers:

  • The absolute numbers added each year or decade is the magnitude of increase.
  • It is obtained by simply subtracting the earlier population (e.g. that of 2001) from the later population (e.g. that of 2011).
  • It is referred to as the absolute increase.

2. In terms of percentage change per year

  • It is studied in per cent per annum, e.g., a rate of increase of 2 per cent per annum means that in a given year, there was an increase of two persons for every 100 persons in the base population.
  • This is referred to as the annual growth rate.

India’s population has been steadily increasing from 361 million in 1951 to 1210 million in 2011.

From 1951 to 1981, the annual rate of population growth was steadily increasing.

Since 1981, however, the rate of growth started declining gradually. During this period, birth rates declined rapidly.

At the current rate of populating growth, India may overtake China in 2045 to become the most populous country in the world.

Processes of Population Change/Growth

There are three main processes of change of population:

  • Birth rate is the number of live births per thousand persons in a year. It is a major component of growth because in India, birth rates have always been higher than death rates.
  • Death rate is the number of deaths per thousand persons in a year. The main cause of the rate of growth of the Indian population has been the rapid decline in death rates.
    • Till 1980, high birth rates and declining death rates led to a large difference between birth rates and death rates resulting in higher rates of population growth.
    • Since 1981, birth rates have also started declining gradually, resulting in a gradual decline in the rate of population growth.
  • Migration is the movement of people across regions and territories. Migration can be internal (within the country) or international (between the countries).
    • Internal migration does not change the size of the population, but influences the distribution of population within the nation.
    • Migration plays a very significant role in changing the composition and distribution of population.
    • In India, most migrations have been from rural to urban areas because of the
      • “push” factor in rural areas which are adverse conditions of poverty and unemployment in the rural areas.
      • the “pull” of the city in terms of increased employment opportunities and better living conditions.
    • The urban population has increased from 17.29 per cent of the total population in 1951 to 31.80 per cent in 2011.
    • There has been a significant increase in the number of ‘million plus cities’ from 35 to 53 in just one decade, i.e., 2001 to 2011.

Age Composition

  • The age composition of a population refers to the number of people in different age groups in a country.
  • The number and percentage of a population found within the children, working age and aged groups are determinants of the population’s social and economic structure.
  • The population of a country is usually classified into three broad categories:
    • Children (generally below 15 years): They are economically unproductive and need to be provided with food, clothing, education and medical care.
    • Working Age (15–59 years): They are economically productive and biologically reproductive. They comprise the working population.
    • Aged (Above 59 years): They can be economically productive though they may have retired. They may be working voluntarily but they are not available for employment through recruitment.
  • The percentage of children and the aged affect the dependency ratio because these groups are not producers.

Sex Ratio

  • Sex ratio is defined as the number of females per 1000 males in the population.
  • This information is an important social indicator to measure the extent of equality between males and females in a society at a given time.
  • Kerala has a sex ratio of 1084 females per 1000 males, Puducherry has 1038 females for every 1000 males. Delhi has only 866 females per 1000 males and Haryana has just 877.

Literacy Rates

  • As per Census 2011, a person aged 7 years and above, who can read and write with understanding in any language, is considered as literate.
  • The literacy rate in the country as per the Census of 2011 is 73 percent; 80.9 percent for males and 64.6 percent for females.

Occupational Structure

  • The distribution of the population according to different types of occupation is referred to as the occupational structure.
  • Occupations are classified as primary, secondary and tertiary.
  • Primary activities include agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fishing, mining and quarrying, etc.
  • Secondary activities include manufacturing industry, building and construction work, etc.
  • Tertiary activities include transport, communications, commerce, administration and other services.
  • In developed nations, large number of people are engaged in secondary and tertiary activities.
  • While in developing countries large number of people are involved in primary activities.
  • In India, about 64% of the population is engaged only in agriculture. The proportion of population dependent on secondary and tertiary sectors is about 13% and 20% respectively.
  • There has been an occupational shift in favour of secondary and tertiary sectors because of growing industrialisation and urbanisation in recent times.


  • Death rates have declined from 25 per 1000 population in 1951 to 7.2 per 1000 in 2011 and life expectancy at birth has increased from 36.7 years in 1951 to 67.9 years in 2012.
  • The health situation is still a matter of major concern for India.
  • The per capita calorie consumption is much below the recommended levels and malnutrition affects a large portion of our population.
  • Safe drinking water and basic sanitation amenities are available to only one-third of the rural population.

Adolescent Population

  • It constitutes one-fifth of the total population of India.
  • Adolescents are, generally, grouped in the age group of 10 to 19 years.
  • They are the most important resource for the future.
  • The nutrition requirements of adolescents are higher than those of a normal child or adult. Poor nutrition can lead to deficiency and stunted growth.
  • But in India, the diet available to adolescents is inadequate in all nutrients. A large number of adolescent girls suffer from anaemia.

National Population Policy

  • The Government of India initiated a comprehensive Family Planning Programme in 1952. The Family Welfare Programme aimed to promote responsible and planned parenthood on a voluntary basis.
  • The National Population Policy (NDP) 2000 is a culmination of years of planned efforts.
  • The NPP 2000 provides a policy framework for
    • imparting free and compulsory school education up to 14 years of age,
    • reducing infant mortality rate to below 30 per 1000 live births,
    • achieving universal immunisation of children against all vaccine preventable diseases,
    • promoting delayed marriage for girls, and
    • making family welfare a people-centred programme.

NPP 2000 and Adolescents

  • NPP 2000 identified adolescents as one of the major section of the population that need greater attention.
  • Besides nutritional requirements, the policy puts greater emphasis on other important needs of adolescent including protection from unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • It called for programmes that aim towards encouraging delayed marriage and child-bearing, education of adolescents about the risks of unprotected sex, making contraceptive services accessible and affordable, providing food supplements, nutritional services, and strengthening legal measures to prevent child marriage.


MCQs based on NCERT Class 9 Geography Chapter 6: Population

1. Migration change the number, distribution and composition of the population in

(a) the area of departure

(b) both the area of departure and arrival

(c) the area of arrival

(d) none of the above

Ans. b


Migration is one of the component of population change. It changes population size, composition and distribution in both the area of arrival and departure.

2. A large population of children in a population is a result of

(a) High birth rates

(b) High death rates

(c) High life expectancies

(d) More married couples

Ans. a


A large population of children in a population is a result of high birth rates.

3. The magnitude of population growth refers to-

(a) the total population of an area

(b) the number of persons added each year

(c) the rate at which the population increases

(d) the number of females per thousand males

Ans. b


The magnitude of population growth refers to the number of persons added to the population each year.

4. According to Census, a “literate” person is one who

(a) can read and write his/her name

(b) can read and write in any language

(c) is 7 years old and can read and write any language with understanding

(d) knows the 3 ‘Rs’ (reading, writing, arithmetic)

Ans. c


As per Census 2011, a person aged 7 years and above, who can read and write with understanding in any language, is considered ‘literate’.



Read NCERT Class 9 Geography Notes

Chapter 1

India –Size and Location

Chapter 2

Physical Features of India

Chapter 3


Chapter 4


Chapter 5

Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Population

Which state has the highest sex ratio as per census 2011?

As per Census 2011, Kerala has the highest sex ratio of 1084 females per 1000 males.

What is Birth rate?

Birth rate refers to the number of live births for every 1000 persons in a year.

What is Death rate?

Death rate refers to the number of deaths per 1000 persons in a year.

What is the relation between occupational structure and development?

Occupational structure is the distribution of the population according to different types of occupation. More the number of people are engaged in secondary and tertiary sectors, more developed is the country.

What are the major components of population growth?

The major components of population growth are Birth, Death and Migration.


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