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Population of the North-Eastern States of India

Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)

Abstract

North-East India, comprising the seven states, has a population of over 45 million, which is 3.76 % of India’s population. The overall density of population is 159 persons/km2, though Assam, the principal state of the region, has a population density of 397 persons to a km2. In contrast, the state of Arunachal Pradesh, occupying the foothills of the Himalayas, has an average density of 17 persons to a km2. The distribution of population is highly irregular that reflects the sequent of occupancy, the agricultural potential of a state and the ruggedness and accessibility of the terrain. The most densely populated parts of the region are the plains of Brahmaputra and Barak, the Imphal plain in Manipur and the western part of Tripura.

The mid-twentieth century was a demographic watershed in the population growth of Assam, as much as for the rest of India. While the population of Assam grew by just 55 % over a period of half a century between 1901 and 1951, the accelerated growth after 1951 resulted in a population growth of 288 % between 1951 and 2001. During the same period, the population of North-Eastern region as a whole grew four and a half times showing an increase of 350 %. The region has around 27 % indigenous people in its population, recognised by the Indian constitution as Scheduled Tribes or STs. The sex ratio of the region is 954 females per 1,000 males, slightly above the national average of 940 females per 1,000 males. The literacy rate in different states is variable, the highest being in Mizoram which has enumerated 93 % of its population as literate in contrast to Arunachal Pradesh which has recorded only 67 % of its population as literate. During the last four decades, birth as well as death rate has declined. A steep decline in birth rate has led to a decline in growth rate, despite the decrease in death rate. The highest decadal growth rate was between 1971 and 1981, but it has come down to 1.7 % in 2011, a figure that corresponds to the population growth rate for India.

Keywords

  • Family Planning Programme
  • Tribal Population
  • Shillong Plateau
  • Schedule Tribe
  • Princely State

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See Census of India (1951, vol. XII, pt. II, A7, pp. 2 & 3).

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Dikshit, K.R., Dikshit, J.K. (2014). Population of the North-Eastern States of India. In: North-East India: Land, People and Economy. Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7055-3_12

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