India’s 2011 census reports that its population has increased by 181 million in the space of one decade, a figure 17.6 percent greater than 2001. The census results, publicised today, show the population of India now stands at 1.21 billion. C. Chandramauli, the commissioner of the census, said India’s population represents “over 17 percent of the world population, [while] India is 2.4 percent of the world’s surface area.”
According to BBC News Online, the current population of the country is in excess of the populations of Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Brazil and the United States put together. While India’s population has increased by more than 17 percent since the 2001 census, this growth rate is the lowest since India achieved independence in 1947. Between 1991 and 2011, the population growth rate has steadily decreased. Approximately 25 percent of Indians over the age of seven were found to be illiterate in the 2011 census, a decrease of 10 percent from the census held ten years ago. The increase in literate females is greater than that of males, the new census reports.