Population density up in Karnataka

Population density up in Karnataka

Census personnel collect data during the Population census 2011. DH file photoThe latest census figures for Karnataka reveal that in terms of absolute value, population density of the State, an important index of population concentration, has increased, but at the same time the percentage of increase is witnessing a downward trend.

According to the latest paper on provisional population totals published by the Directorate of Census Operations last week, the percentage increase of population density in 2011 is 15.58 compared to 17.45 in 2001.

The population density, defined as the number of persons per sq km, in 2011 was 319 persons per sq km an increase from 276 in 2001.

On an average, 43 more people inhabit every sq km area in the State than the numbers that lived a decade ago.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the density of Karnataka was 68 and this has steadily increased from one decade to another to reach 319 in 2011.

What has caught the attention of demographers is the decline in the percentage increase of population density. “It is a good trend that percentage of population density is coming down over the last two decades. It’s another indicator that the population growth rate is slowing,” says Prof K S James, of the Population Research Centre, Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC) .

Increase of population density had hit a high of 26.14 per cent in 1981 and is showing a downward trend since.

“Karnataka is relatively better off compared to other States. If the percentage increase had continued to peak it would have adversely affected the present land use balance”, he said.

Kerala is the most densely populated State in south and ranks eighth in the country. Karnataka which ranked 20th in 2001, has moved up to 19th place in 2011 census. West Bengal tops the list with 1,029 people per sq km, followed by Kerala (859) and Uttar Pradesh (828).

Among districts, Bangalore Urban with 4,378 persons per sq km is the most densely populated and ranks first in the State. In other words, for every six person in the state one belongs to Bangalore Urban.

The district that includes the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike areas has witnessed an increase in the number of its habitants by 1,393 per sq km during the decade. Kodagu is the least populated district in the State, with a density of 135 persons per sq km.