Census data shows State set to reap demographic dividend

Largest age group between 'productive' 20 and 29 years

Karnataka’s population is reaching its prime with the largest age group in the State being between 20 years and 29 years. Demographers point out that this would help in yielding rich dividends in terms of work productivity.

A whopping 1.18 crore people, or 19.35 per cent of the population, are in the age group of 20-29 years, according to the latest ‘single year age data’ released by the Office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner.

The total population of the State as per the 2011 census is 6.1 crore.

Calculations done by Deccan Herald on the data for Karnataka reveals that 3.34 crore people, or 54.64 per cent of the population, are in the working age group of 20 years to 60 years.

The percentage of population above 60 years is 9.42 per cent and that between zero and 20 years is 35.75 per cent.

“It is very good for Karnataka. More number of adult members in the working age in the population pool helps in productivity and overall growth of the State. We call it demographic advantage, or demographic dividend,” said K S James, Professor and Head, Population Research Centre, Institute for Social and Economic Change.

The demographic dividend could be achieved following a drop in the fertility rates and reduction in child and infant mortality rates, he pointed out. The largest segment of population of productive working age means that there are fewer younger dependents and fewer older generations, resulting in less strain on families, James said.

Rapid economic growth

Demographic experts point out that with effective public policies, demographic dividend can help in achieving rapid economic growth.

Another interesting aspect revealed by the single year age data is that a large section of the population approximate their age to the nearest multiple of five. For instance, while 4.8 lakh people gave their age as 49 years during the census enumeration process, as many as 12.9 lakh gave their age as 30 years. A cursory glance at the year-wise age data shows that there are peaks at every five years — 20, 25, 30, 35  —  and so on.
“It is called age humping and is a reporting problem during the evaluation process. It can be eliminated by taking averages over five or 10 year age groups,” James said.

For the record, as many as 22,757 gave their age as 100 years. The maximum number of people in the 0-100 year age spectrum is 30 years — as many as 17.19 lakh people gave their age as 30 to the enumerator followed by 40 years (16.38 lakh people).

Age group    percentage
(in years)    of population

0 - 9    16.83
10-19    18.92
20-29    19.35
30-39    15.37
40-49    12.02
50-59    7.92
60-69    5.85
70-79    2.59
80-89    0.811
90-99    0.17

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