Notes on Three Processes of Population Change

i. There are three main processes of population change.

ii. They are:

  • Birth rates
  • Death rates and
  • Migration.

Natural increase of population is the difference between birth rates and death rates.


i. Birth rate is the number of live births per thousand persons in a year.

ii. It is a major component of growth in India because birth rates have always been higher than death rates here.

iii. Death rate is the number of deaths per thousand persons in a year.

iv. Main cause of rapid rate of growth of the Indian population is the fast decline in death rates.


Till 1980, high birth rates and declining death rates led to a large difference between birth rates and death rates.

It resulted in higher rates of population growth.

After 1981, birth rates have also started declining gradually. It has resulted in a gradual decline in the rate of population growth.

The reasons for this trend are:


i. Most of the people especially in urban areas have adopted two children norms.

ii. Birth rate has also seen sharp decline.

iii. Standard of living has increased considerably.

iv. Womenfolk are more conscious of their health.


v. Family welfare schemes are being adopted in a big way.

vi. Muslim population has also started to keep the family small.

Migration is the third component of population growth:

i. It is the movement of people across regions and territories.


ii. It is both internal and international.

  • Internal migration is the movement of people from one region to another within the country.
  • International migration is the movement of people from one to another country.
  • Internal migration does not change the size of the population but influences the distribution of population within the country.
  • Migration plays a very significant role in changing the composition and distribution of population
  • In India most migration are from rural to urban areas because of the push factors. They include.

a. Adverse condition of poverty.

b. Unemployment in the rural areas.

  • The pull factors of the city include.

a. Increased employment opportunities.


b. Better living conditions.

  • Migration decides the population change in a big way. They change both population size and population composition in term of urban and rural populations and in terms of age and sex composition.

In India rural-urban migration has resulted in a steady increase in the percentage of urban population.

Urban population has increased from 17.29 per cent of the total population in 1951 to 27.78% in 2001.

There has been a significant increase in the number of million plus cities from 23 in 1991 to 35 in 2001 (a period of just 10 years-a decade).