Population Projections for India and States, 2011-2036


The report Population Projections for India and States, 2011-2036 was published by the National Commission on Population, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in July 2020. It was submitted by the Technical Group on Population Projections headed by the Registrar General of India.

Since 1958, the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner has been providing population projections for the Indian government. These projections are based on the latest available data from the Census of India. This 2020 report – the seventh in the series – presents a scientific estimation of the population for the period 2011-2036, using Census 2011 figures.

The report employs different methods for two sets of states and union territories. For seven north-eastern states – Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – it uses the ‘mathematical method’, which studies past and present population data to map trends. This is because these states contribute to only one per cent of the total population of India. The authors used the ‘cohort component method’ for the remaining 21 states and one union territory (New Delhi). This method examines population change indicators – such as fertility, mortality and migration – for ‘birth cohorts’ of each year.

This 262-page long report is divided into two chapters: Introduction (chapter 1) and Population Projections for India (chapter 2).


  1. The population of India is likely to rise from 121.1 crores in 2011 to 152.2 crores in 2036 – a 31.1 crore increase. The population will go up by 25.7 per cent in 25 years, at the rate of one per cent annually. Consequently, the density of population will rise from 368 to 463 persons per square kilometre.

  2. The states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, will account for 17 crores of the 31.1 crore increase in the total population. About 19 per cent of the population increase during 2011-36 is estimated to occur in UP alone.

  3. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana and Tamil Nadu are projected to contribute a cumulative nine per cent to the total population growth by 2036.

  4. The total fertility rate – calculated as the average number of children a woman is likely to have at the end of her reproductive period – is expected to decline from 2.37 child per woman in 2011-15 to 1.73 child per woman in 2031-35.

  5. Between 2011-15 and 2031-35, the crude birth rate – the annual number of live births for every 1,000 people – is likely to decline from 20.1 to 13.1 births due to decreasing fertility rates. Bihar is the only state expected to have a crude birth rate of more than 20 live births per 1,000 population by 2031-35.

  6. On the other hand, the crude death rate (the annual number of deaths per 1,000 population) is anticipated to grow from 7.2 deaths in 2011-15 to 7.3 deaths in 2031-35. The report attributes this to the “changing age structure.”

  7. The proportion of the population below 15 years is estimated to decline from 30.9 per cent in 2011 to 20.1 per cent in 2036. Similarly, the proportion of the population between 15 and 24 years will fall from 19.3 to 15.1 per cent. The total number of people between 15 to 24 years is expected to rise from 23.3 crores in 2011 to 25.1 crores in 2021, and decrease to 22.9 crores by 2036.

  8. The number of people in the working age-group (15-59 years) is expected to rise from 60.7 per cent in 2011 to 64.9 per cent in 2036. 

  9. India’s sex ratio (females per 1,000 males) is estimated to increase from 943 females per 1,000 males in 2011, to 952 females in 2036.

  10. The urban population of India is projected to rise from 31.8 per cent in 2011 to 38.2 per cent in 2036. This increase in the urban population will account for 73 per cent of total population increase in the country during 2011-36.

  11. States likely to have the least population growth between 2011-2036 are Himachal Pradesh (six per cent) and Tamil Nadu (eight per cent). Conversely, the National Capital Territory of Delhi is projected to have the highest population growth – 98 per cent – during the period.

  12. The report points out that there will be a drop in the sex ratio of Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat, during 2011-36. At the end of this period, the union territory of Delhi is expected to have the lowest sex ratio among the studied states at 899 females per 1,000 males, followed Gujarat (900 females per 1,000 males) and Haryana (908 females per 1,000 males).

  13. The entire population of Delhi, Chandigarh and Lakshadweep, is projected to be living in urban areas by 2036. On the other hand, only 10.5 per cent of people in Himachal Pradesh are expected to live in urban areas by then.

    Facts and Factoids by Shafia Shaan.

    PARI Library's health archive project is part of an initiative supported by the Azim Premji University to develop a free-access repository of health-related reports relevant to rural India.


Technical Group on Population Projections, National Commission on Population, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi


National Commission on Population, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi


Jul, 2020