The term 'Census' can be defined as the process of collecting, compiling, evaluating, analysing and publishing the demographic economic and social data relating to all persons in a country or a well-delimited part of a country at a specified time.
Census of population in India was taken in 1872 and then in 1881. From then onwards, the census is taken once in 10 years. The latest census was taken in 2001. Census is very important to know (1) the rate of growth of population (2) the changes in the distribution of the population.
Census is useful for economic planning, and for implementing welfare schemes and measures.
The population census provides comprehensive details of India's population characteristics. The details recorded in the population census are as follows:
Total Population Sex Composition
1. Rural versus Urban population
2. Age Composition
3. Density of Population
4. Literacy Rate
6. Occupational Pattern
India accounts for about 2.4 percent of the total world area but has to support about 16.84 percent of the world population. The population in our country has been growing very rapidly from 238.5 million in 1901 to 1027 million in 2001. Thus during one century i.e. 100 years , the population of India has increased by nearly 788.5 million people. This order of increase is really alarming and threatening to the whole development process in India.