Distribution of Population in India

Distribution of Population in India
Posted on 22-08-2023

Population Distribution in India

The distribution of India's population is characterized by significant disparities. While certain regions experience high population concentration, others remain sparsely inhabited. This pattern is influenced by a variety of factors including topography, climate, soil quality, water resources, mineral availability, industrial growth, transportation, and urbanization.

Factors Influencing Population Distribution

  1. Terrain: The geographical landscape plays a pivotal role in shaping population distribution. Generally, plain areas have higher population densities compared to mountainous regions. For instance, the Himalayas, occupying 13% of India's land area, support only a small fraction of the population, while the expansive North Indian plain houses more than half of the country's populace.

  2. Climate: Climate, comprising rainfall and temperature, is a decisive factor in determining population patterns. Moderate climates are conducive to higher population densities, whereas extreme conditions are less favorable. The "population map" of India closely follows its rainfall distribution, with regions like the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta witnessing higher densities compared to the arid Thar desert.

  3. Soil: India's agricultural dependence makes soil quality a significant influencer. Fertile regions, such as the northern plain and coastal areas, accommodate denser populations. Conversely, regions with infertile soil, like deserts and mountains, tend to have lower densities.

  4. Water Bodies: Freshwater availability, crucial for various purposes, including agriculture and industry, leads to concentrated populations in river valleys.

  5. Mineral Resources: Areas rich in minerals, like the Chhota Nagpur plateau and adjacent Odisha, experience higher population densities due to economic opportunities.

  6. Industries: Industrial growth acts as a magnet, attracting people seeking employment, thus leading to higher population densities in states like West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

  7. Transport: Accessibility via transport networks influences population density. The northern plains, with an extensive transport network, are densely populated. The peninsular plateau has moderate connectivity and population density, while the Himalayan region, lacking transport infrastructure, remains sparsely inhabited.

  8. Urbanization: Urban areas naturally exhibit high population densities, evident in cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, and Delhi.

Population Distribution in India

Uttar Pradesh leads with a population of 199.5 million, followed by Maharashtra (112.3 million), Bihar (103.8 million), West Bengal (91.3 million), and Andhra Pradesh including Telangana (84.6 million). These five states collectively house around half of India's population. As of the 2011 Census, Sikkim has the smallest population among Indian states, while Delhi, with 16.75 million residents, has the highest population among Union territories.

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