Population is the total number of people living in a country at a given point of time. The people, who constitute the population, act as the producers as well as the consumers of goods and services.
The main objective of studying population is to estimate :
1. The total manpower available for production.
2. The total amount of goods and services required for their consumption.
Three major aspects of the population :
1. Population size and distribution : How many people are there and where are they located ?
2. Population growth and processes of population change : How the population has grown and changed through time?
3. Characteristics or qualities of the population : What are their age, sex-composition, literacy levels, occupational structure and health conditions ?.
Population size and distribution : Population size and distribution is estimated by census.
Census : It is the process of collection, compilation and publication of information relating to different aspects of people living in a country at a specific time. A census is an official enumeration of population done periodically.
India’s population as on March 2001 stood at 1.028 million which accounts for 16.7 % of the world population.
These 1.02 billion people are unevenly distributed over our country’s vast area of 3.28 million km2, which accounts for 2.4 % of the world area.
According to 2001 census data reveals that Uttar Pradesh with a population size of 166 million people is the most populous state of India. Uttar Pradesh accounts for about 16 % of the country’s population. Sikkim has population of 0.5 million and Lakshadweep has only 60 thousand people.
Almost half of India’s population lives in five states. These are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Rajasthan the biggest state in terms of area, has only 5.5 %of the population of India.