Demographic Conditions of India on the Eve of Independence
Demographic Conditions of India on the Eve of Independence were poor and with a high mortality rate. Demographic conditions mean the study of a population-based on factors such as age, race, and sex. It simply refers to the composition of population i.e., how many children, adults, old age people are there in any country.
The population of British India was first collected through a census in 1881. Census operations are done every 10 years.
India’s demographic conditions on the eve of independence;
Demographic Conditions of India on the Eve of Independence was characterized by:
- The overall literacy rate was less than 16%, Literacy is the ability to read and write.
- Public health facilities were inadequate, that is, inadequate medical facilities.
- The overall mortality rate was very high and the Infant Mortality Rate was also very high. Infant Mortality rate (IMR) refers to the number of deaths per 1,000 live births of children under one year of age.
- Life expectancy was very low at 32 years. Life expectancy means the number of years a person expects to live based on the statistical average.
- Extreme poverty during the colonial period.
Which year is known as the year of the great divide, and why?
The year 1921 is popularly known as “The year of Great Divide” reason being before 1921, India experienced a high death rate and a high birth rate which control the population growth in India. But after 1921, India experienced a decline in death rate (Due to improvement in medical facilities) and a high birth rate which led to high population growth in India.
A quantitative appraisal of India’s demographic profile during the colonial period
- Birth Rate: The birth rate was very high. It was about 48 per thousand.
- Death Rate: It was also very high. It was about 40 per thousand.
- Infant mortality rate: Infant mortality rate refers to the death rate of children below the age of one year. It was about 218 per thousand.
- Life expectancy: It was very low. It was 32 years.
- Literacy rate: The literacy rate was about 16%. It means that 84 percent of the population was illiterate.
- Unevenness in population growth: During the pre-independence period, there was unevenness in the population growth. Up to 1921, there was a slow growth of the population. After 1921, there was a high population growth.