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"India's 2011 Census is remarkable in one important way: The number of people added between the 2001 and 2011 censuses was slightly less than that between the 1991 and 2001 censuses. The last time this happened was between the 1911 and 1921 censuses, when the population actually declined. "

Many factors contributed to this very pleasant surprise - education, women's emancipation, urbanization, lower fertility ...

"The country's total fertility rate (TFR) has declined from about 6 children per woman in the early 1950s to about 2.6 today, an impressive change.5 But much of that decline has been in certain states, most notably in the south."

"A TFR of about 2.1 is generally required for a population to stop growing, but the future course of fertility in those states cannot be predicted. "

The four Southern states have traditionally led in education, quality of public services and infrastructure, work ethic, etc., which partly explains their lead role in India's infotech success

" The TFR remains high in some of the most populous states of northern India, with the lowest levels of education and women's status, less effective governance, and more entrenched traditional values and customs."

Meanwhile, from the Economist:
"India’s 247m households, two-thirds of them rural, have seen only limited gains in the past ten years, despite rapid economic growth. Some goods and services have reached even remote rural corners. Thus 63% of households have a phone (mostly mobiles), a massive leap from 9% a decade before. Two-thirds of homes have electricity and 47% have television. Nearly 60% have access to a bank, 45% have bicycles, and concrete—for roofs, floor and walls—is slowly covering ever greater swathes of India."

"Household size is shrinking fast, notably as more people move to town. In 2001 more than 60% of all homes had five or more people in them, but by last year only half of them did. Smaller households could lead to many social changes: less direct care by children for their parents for example, or fewer babies born per couple, which would suggest that urbanisation will slow population growth."

Lots of room for improvement, of course, particularly in basic quality of life needs like potable water and sanitation. But, judging by the solid penetration of key elements of modern life - phones, electricity, banking - hardly cause for despair!
GG Home Fool
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