Census 2011: Focus on Migration, Focus On Border Districts
|POSTED ON 6 APRIL 2011
Research associate, Centre
for Development and Peace Studies
Yet another census, yet another set of statistics.
Census 2011 has revealed that Assam has now a population
of 31,169,272. The highest growth of population has
been recorded in Dhubri district, bordering Bangladesh.
On the other hand, the growth rate has decreased in
Karimganj, another district bordering that country.
Again, the population growth rate of the eastern Assam
districts is lower than that of the western Assam districts,
leading to speculations in certain quarters if this
has anything to do with illegal influx of people from
across the border.
The total population of the state has increased from
26,638,407 to 31,169,272 in the last ten years with
a growth rate of 16.93 per cent. This is lower than
the overall national growth percentage of 17.64. Assam
accounted for 2.58 per cent of India’s population
of 121,01,93,422. Out of the total population of the
State, 15,954,927 are male and 15,214,345 are female.
It is, however, noticeable that the highest growth
of population has been found in the Dhubri district
bordering Bangladesh. With 1,948,632 persons, the decadal
growth rate of Dhubri district was found to be 24.40
per cent. On the other hand, the growth has decreased
to 20.74 per cent from 21.87 per cent in Karimganj.
Again, the census report says that Kamrup (Metro) has
the highest density of population (2,010) followed by
Dhubri (1,171) and Baksa (763). The lowest density has
been seen in Karbi Anglong, with no change from the
2001 census findings. The density of population per
square kilometer in the State has gone up to 397 as
against 340 in 2001. While the country’s highest
population density is in Delhi’s north-east district
(37,346 per sq km) the lowest is in Dibang Valley in
Arunachal Pradesh (just one per sq km).
Of the 27 districts of Assam, eight districts registered
rise in the decadal population growth rate. Interestingly,
religious minority-dominated districts like Dhubri,
Goalpara, Barpeta, Morigaon, Nagaon, Hailakandi etc.
recorded growth rates ranging from 20 per cent to 24
per cent during the last decade. On the other hand,
eastern Assam districts like Sivasagar, Jorhat etc registered
around 9 per cent population growth, and for the record,
these districts do not share any international border.
Ever since 1872, every ten years the Census of India
has been publishing statistics on various characteristics
of the population, such as, demography, social and cultural
aspects, economic activities, housing, amenities and
assets, migration, etc. The statistical analysis has
always presented a unique opportunity to understand
the dynamics and trends pertaining to different features
of the huge and diverse population of the country. The
recently conducted 15th census of India has brought
to light many interesting and vital factors regarding
human development in the country. In the context of
Assam, this census is remarkably significant and shows
certain interesting developments in the demographic
and social dimensions of the State.
A significant aspect revealed by the report is that
the growth rate of female population in Assam has surpassed
that of males. Decadal growth rate of female population
has been recorded as 18.14 per cent against male percentage
15.81. The sex ratio in the State (number of female
per 1,000 male) has increased from 935 to 954. On the
contrary, the overall sex ratio at the national level
has increased from 933 to 940. A significant improvement
in the sex ratio has been shown in all the districts
except Darrang. The highest sex ratio has been recorded
in Morigaon (974), while the lowest ratio has been observed
in Kamrup (Metro) district (922).
An alarming fact indicated by the Census is, the continuing
preference of the male children rather than the female
children. The current national figure of 914 female
children against 1000 male children is indeed dismal
for the future generation, and the lowest since Independence.
The child sex ratio (0-6 years) in Harayan and Punjab
is lowest among all states. Haryana has 830 female children
and Punjab 846 per 1000 male child. The highest child
sex ratio is in Mizoram (971 females against 1000 males)
and Meghalaya (970). In Assam, the total child population
(0-6 years) has ascended to 4,511,307. Out of that,
2305088 are male and 2206219 are female, the ratio being,
957 female children per 1000 male child.
Literacy rate in the State rises to 73.18 per cent,
an increase of about 9 per cent. Interestingly, the
country’s literacy rate has gone up from 64.83
per cent in 2001 to 74.04 per cent in 2011 showing a
jump of 9.21 per cent. During 2001-2011, literacy rate
of males is put at 82.14 per cent and female at 65.46
per cent. In 2001, the male literacy rate was 75.26
per cent and female 53.67 per cent. Mizoram's two districts
– Serchhip (98.76 per cent) and Aizawl (98.50
per cent) have recorded highest literacy rates while
Madhya Pradesh's Alirajpur district (37.22 per cent)
and Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district (41.58 per cent)
recorded lowest literacy rates. In Assam, Kamrup (Metro)
district recorded the highest literacy rate at the district
level with 88.66 per cent while the lowest is in Dhubri