India’s population as on March 1, 2001 stood at 1,028 million (532.1 million males and 496.4 million females). India accounts for a meager 2.4 per cent of the world surface area of 135.79 million sq. km. yet; it supports and sustains a whopping 16.7 per cent of the world population.
The population of India as recorded at each decennial census from 1901 has grown steadily except for a decrease during 1911-21. Decadal growth of population from 1901 is shown in table 3. The population density of India in 2001 was 324 per sq. km. The density of population was increased in all states and Union Territories between 1991 to 2001.
The future population growth in India has to be related to the resource base in order to have sustainable development. In natural ecosystem under conditions of unlimited resources and ideal environmental condition species can multiply at a maximum rate. The size of the population is governed by (i) resource needed by population (ii) Existing environmental conditions and (iii) Limit of tolerance to various environmental conditions.