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Human Settlement/Population Terms/Census 2011

Human Settlement Terminology Associated with Population Census 2011

Human Settlement

Settlements can broadly be divided into two types – rural and urban.
Some basic differences between rural and urban areas in general. (i) The major difference between rural and urban areas is the function. Rural areas have predominantly primary activities, whereas urban areas have domination of secondary and tertiary activities. (ii) Generally the rural areas have low density of population than urban.

Settlement Hierarchy
i. Isolate dwellings
• Such settlement consists of individual units. It can be termed as the initial state of development of a settlement.
• An isolated dwelling would only have 1 or 2 buildings or families in it.

ii. Hamlets

• When many individual units are cluster together they form hamlets. The grouping may be due to similar occupation patterns, religion, cultural factors etc. a hamlet has a tiny population (<100) and very few (if any) service.

iii. Villages
• When many hamlets combine they from a village. The reason for such grouping may be due to interdependencies of one hamlet on another, thus to form a self sufficient unit.

iv. Towns
• A town is a larger entity which is more self sufficient, has a stronger economic base.

v. Cities
• Where large concentration of people exists, multiple economic activities exist.

vi. Metropolis
• A metropolis is a large city, with a population of at least one million living in its urban agglomeration.

vii. Megalopolis
• An extensive, metropolitan area or a long chain of continuous metropolitan areas.


Geographers have suggested various schemes of classification. If we group settlements found all over the country, these can broadly be grouped under four categories:

A. Compact Settlements:
• These settlements have closely built up area.
• Therefore in such settlements all the dwellings are concentrated in one central sites and these inhabited area is distinct and separated from the farms and pastures.
• Maximum settlements of our country comes under this category. They are spread over almost every part of the country.

B. Semi- Compact Settlement:
• The dwellings or houses are not well-knitted.
• Such settlements are characterized by a small but compact nuclears around which hamlets are dispersed. It covers more area than the compact settlements.
• These settlements are found both in plains and plateaus depending upon the environmental conditions prevailing in that area.

C. Hamleted Settlements:
• These type of settlements, are fragmented into several small units.
• The main settlement does not have much influence on the other units.
• Very often the original site is not easily distinguishable and these hamlets are often spread over the area with intervening fields.
• This segregation is often influenced by social and ethnic factors.

D. Dispersed Settlements:
• This is also known as isolated settlements.
• Here the settlement is characterized by units of small size which may consist of a single house to a small group of houses. It varies from two to seven huts.
• Therefore, in this type, hamlets are scattered over a vast area and does not have any specific pattern.

According to the census of India urban areas are those which satisfy the conditions given below:
(a) All places with a municipality corporation, cantonment board or notified town area committee etc.
(b) All other places which satisfy the following criteria:
(i) A minimum population of 5000;
(ii) At least 75 percent of male working population engaged in nonagricultural sector; and
(iii) A density of population of at least 4,00 persons per square kilometer.
Classification of urban settlement
Class                                    Population
Class I                                  1,00,000 and above
Class II                                50,000 – 99,999
Class III                               20,000 – 49,999
Class IV                                10,000 – 19,999
Class V                                 5,000 – 9,999
Class VI                                less than 5,000

• 90% of the world’s urban population growth will take place in developing countries, with Indian taking a significant share of that. Urban areas also contribute a higher share of the GDP. The share of the GDP from urban areas in India has been growing.
• While the urban population is currently around 31% of the total population, it contributes over 60%, of India’s GDP. It is projected that urban India will contribute nearly 75% of the national GDP in the next 15 years. It is for this reason that cities are referred to as the “engines of economic growth” and ensuring that they function as efficient engines is critical to our economic development.
• This trend of urbanization that is seen in India over the last few decades will continue for some more time. The global experience is that a country’s urbanization upto a 30% level is relatively slow but the pace of urbanization speeds up thereafter, till it reaches about 60-65%. With an urban population of 31%, India is at a point of transition where the pace of urbanization will speed up.

What is a smart city?
Smart Cities are those that are able to attract investments. Good infrastructure, simple and transparent online processes that make: it easy ‘to establish an enterprise and run it efficiently are important features of an investor friendly city. Without this a city loses attraction as an investment destination. An investor is considered as someone who helps a city rather than someone who only profits from it.

Pillars of a Smart City
Essentially, its Institutional Infrastructure (including Governance), Physical Infrastructure and Social Infrastructure constitute the three pillars on which a city rests, The center of attention for each of these pillars is the citizen. In other words a Smart City works towards ensuring the best for all its people, regardless of social status, age,” income levels, gender, etc.
a) Institutional Infrastructure: Institutional Infrastructure refers to the activities that relate to the planning and management systems in a city. The new, technology has provided a new dimension to this system making it efficient and transparent, It includes the systems of governance the sense safety and security, the opportunities for entertainment and ions, the open spaces and parks that are available.
b) Physical Infrastructure Physical infrastructure refers to its stock of physical infrastructure such as the urban mobility system, the housing stock, the energy system, the water supply system, sewerage system, sanitation facilities, (solid waste management system, drainage system, etc. which are all integrated through the use of technology.
c) Social Infrastructure: Social Infrastructure relates to those that work towards developing the human and social capital, such as the educational, healthcare, entertainment; etc systems.
Social Infrastructure would include the following:
Education: The city should have good quality educational facilities both for schooling and higher education.
Healthcare: High quality healthcare facilities are important factors in making a city livable and attractive for people and businesses.
Entertainment: Good entertainment facilities make the people in a city happy. Good sports facilities, cultural centers, open spaces and plazas allow opportunities for recreation, so important for healthy and happy living.

Terminology Associated with Population Terms

A. Birth Rate
• Birth rate is the total number of live births in a particular area (an entire country, a state, a district or other territorial unit) during a specified period (usually a year) divided by the total population of that area in thousands.
• In other words, the birth rate is the number of live births per 1000 population.

B. Death Rate
• The death rate is a similar statistic, expressed as the number of deaths in a given area during a given time per 1000 population.

C. Growth Rate
• The rate of natural increase or the growth rate of population refers to the difference between the birth rate and the death rate. When this difference is zero (or, in practice, very small) then we say that the population has ‘stabilized’, or has reached the ‘replacement level’, which is the rate of growth required for new generations to replace the older ones that are dying out.
• Sometimes, societies can experience a negative growth rate – that is, their fertility levels are below the replacement rate. This is true of many countries and regions in the world today, such as Japan, Russia, Italy and Eastern Europe.
• On the other hand, some societies experience very high growth rates, particularly when they are going through the demographic transition described on the previous page.

D. Fertility Rate
• The fertility rate refers to the number of live births per 1000 women in the child-bearing age group, usually taken to be 15 to 49 years.
• But like the other rates discussed above (the birth and death rates) this is a ‘crude’ rate- it is a rough average for an entire population and does not take account of the differences across age-groups. Differences across age groups can sometimes be very significant in affecting the meaning of indicators. That is why demographers also calculate age-specific rates.
• The total fertility rate refers to the total number of live births that a hypothetical woman would have if she lived through the reproductive age group and had the average number of babies in each segment of this age group as determined by the age-specific fertility rates for that area. Another way of expressing this is that the total fertility rate is the ‘the average number of births to a cohort of women up to the end of the reproductive age period (estimated on the basis of the age-specific rates observed during a given period).

E. Mortality Rates
• The infant mortality rate is the number of deaths of babies before the age of one year per 1000 live births.
• Likewise, the maternal mortality rate is the number of women who die in child birth per 1000 live births.
• High rates of infant and maternal mortality are an unambiguous indicator of backwardness and poverty; development is accompanied by sharp falls in these rates as medical facilities and levels of education, awareness and prosperity increase.

F. Life expectancy
• This refers to the estimated number of years that an average person is expected to survive. It is calculated on the basis of data on age-specific death rates in a given area over a period of time.

G. Sex ratio
• The sex ratio refers to the number of females per 1000 males in a given area at a specified time period.

H. Age structure
• The age structure of the population refers to the proportion of persons indifferent age groups relative to the total population.
• The age structure changes in response to changes in levels of development and the average life expectancy. Initially, poor medical facilities, prevalence of disease and other factors make for a relatively short life span. Moreover, high infant and maternal mortality rates also have an impact on the age structure. With development, quality of life improves and with it the life expectancy also improves. This changes the age structure: relatively smaller proportions of the population are found in the younger age groups and larger proportions in the older age groups. This is also refered to as the aging of the population.

I. Dependency ratio
• The dependency ratio is a measure comparing the portion of a population which is composed of dependents (i.e., elderly people who are too old to work, and children who are too young to work) with the portion that is in the working age group, generally defined as 15 to 64 years.
• The dependency ratio is equal to the population below 15 or above 64, divided by population in the 15-64 age group; the ratio is usually expressed as a percentage. Or in other words, Dependency Ratio = Population in the age group 0-14 + Population in the age group 60 + or 65 + Population in the age group 15-59 or 15-64.

Census 2011

The Indian Census is the most credible source of information on Demography (Population characteristics), Economic Activity, Literacy & Education, Housing & Household Amenities, Urbanization, Fertility and Mortality, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Language, Religion, Migration, Disability and many other socio-cultural and demographic data since 1872. Census 2011 will be the 15th National Census of the country. This is the only source of primary data at village, town and ward level. It provides valuable information for planning and formulation of polices for Central & State Governments and is widely used by National & International agencies, scholars, business people, industrialists, and many more. The delimitation/reservation of Constituencies – Parliamentary/Assembly/Panchayats and other Local Bodies is also done on the basis of the demographic data thrown up by the Census. Census is the basis for reviewing the country’s progress in the past decade, monitoring the on-going schemes of the Government and most importantly, plan for the future.
The Census is a statutory exercise conducted under the provisions of the Census Act 1948 and Rules made thereunder.

How the Census is conducted?
The Census process involves visiting each and every household and gathering particulars by asking questions and filling up Census Forms. The information collected about individuals is kept absolutely confidential. In fact this information is not accessible even to Courts of law. After the field work is over the forms are transported to data processing centres located at 15 cities across the country. The data processing will be done using sophisticated software called Intelligent Character Recognition Software (ICR). This technology was pioneered by India in Census 2001 has become the benchmark for Censuses all around the globe. This involves the scanning of the Census Forms at high speed and extracting the data automatically using computer software. This revolutionary technology has enabled the processing of the voluminous data in a very short time and saving a huge amount of manual labour and cost.

Highlights of 2011 Census
A. Population size
• According to the provisional population count released within four weeks of completing the Census, India’s total population in 2011 was 1.21 billion, up from 1.03 billion in 2001, thus adding 181 million people in one decade.
• However, the 2001-2011 decadal growth rate of 17.6 %, compared to 21.5 recorded during 1991-2001, suggests slowing down of growth. Interestingly, the enumerated population size was larger than most projections, including that of the Registrar General’s office that projected the 2011 population to be 1.19 billion. India is now expected to become the most populous country of the world by 2030 overtaking China sooner than earlier expected.
• India’s population size is expected to stabilize at 1.8 billion around 2041.

B. Geographic Distribution
• The state of Uttar Pradesh with 199.6 million people is India’s most populous state accounting for 16.5% of country’s population. Bihar (103.8) and Maharashtra (112.4) are other two states with more than 100 million people. Other large states are West Bengal with 91, Andhra Pradesh with 85, Madhya Pradesh with 73, and Tamil Nadu with 72 million people.
• Nearly 42.4% of Indians now live in formerly undivided Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan; a proportion that has increased from 40% in 1991.
• Conversely, the proportion of Indians living in the four southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh has decreased from 22.5% in 1991 to 20.8% in 2011, causing concerns about their representation in parliamentary democracy.

C. Rate of Population Growth
• Among the major states, Bihar with 25.1% growth rate during 2001-2011is the fastest growing state. Decadal Growth rates have exceeded 20% in all the core north India states – Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (including Jharkhand And Chattisgarh).
• Kerala’s growth rate during 2001-2011 of 4.9% is indicative of the state reaching stationary population in the next 10-20 years.
• Growth rate around 11-13% is reported by Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal and around 15-16 % by Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Southern states are the harbinger of population stabilization.

D. Literacy
• India has witnessed remarkable progress in spread of literacy. Compared to barely 18 percent of India’s population recorded as literate in the first Census after Independence, according to the 2011 Census, that proportion has gone up to 74 percent.
• The achievement among males has been from 27 to 82 percent in the 60 years. From less than one in 10 women counted as literate in 1951, today two out of three women are enumerated as literate.
• Nationally, the gender gap in spread of literacy began to narrow first in1991 and the pace has accelerated. However, there are large state variations in the gender gap with Rajasthan reporting nearly 28 percentage point gap and other core North Indian states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand reporting a gap between male and female literacy rate of more than 20 percentage points.
• Compared to 2001, in 2011 male literacy rate increased by 6 percentage points but female literacy increased by nearly 12 percentage points, which is viewed as a remarkable achievement.

E. Sex Ratio of Population
• Female to male sex ratio of population has began to improve – from 927 in 1991 to 933 in 2001 to 940 in 2011.
• The female to male sex ratio of population historically noted in the contiguous area of Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi, has improved between 2001 and 2011, but it is still below 900 women per 1000 men.
• On the other hand, sex ratio close to unity is recorded in the southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. This phenomenon observed since the beginning of the 20th Century has persisted even now.

F. Child Sex Ratio
• Since 1981 Indian Censuses have made available data on population in the age group 0-6 by sex, as a byproduct of information on literacy rates which are calculated for 7+ population, enabling calculation of sex ratio of children in the age group 0-6. (Typically, age data are generated in five year age groups and thus most populations would provide data on children in the age group 0-4 and not 0-6.)
• The Census Commissioner’s office has calculated sex ratio of children aged 0-6 from the previous Censuses of 1961 and 1971 also showing the trend over 50 years (See Table 2).
• The child sex ratio has steadily declined from 976 in 1961 to 927 in 2001 and further to 914 in 2011.

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