Census 2011- Importance, Methodology, UPSC notes

By K Balaji|Updated : November 8th, 2022

The Census 2011 is the 15th, and it was conducted nationally. Indian census is the biggest statistical census exercise done in the world. India conducts the census of its citizens once every 10 years. The British started conducting a census in 1872, and India continued the practice. The census 2011 provided essential details such as the demography, economic activity, literacy, urbanization, language, scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, mortality etc. According to Census 2011 data, the population growth surged to 17.7%.

The Indian constitution, in the form of Article 246 and the Census Act of 1948, makes it legal to conduct a census in India. State and Central governments work together to collect the data for the census. The Census 2011 was conducted through the Canvasser method. This forms to be an essential topic for the IAS exam, the candidates must be well-versed in complete details of the topic for preparing comprehensively for the UPSC exam. The article furnishes complete details of the Census 2011, its importance, data, the sex ratio in India 2011 etc.

Table of Content

Importance of Census 2011 Data

Census 2011 data provides valuable information for policymaking and budget allocations for various programs run by the government. The census information is the only source of truth for data on villages and wards.

The importance of census 2011 data lies in providing accurate and authentic information about various factors. The numerous factors are demography, language, scheduled caste, scheduled tribe, fertility, mortality, housing and household amenities, literacy, education etc.

2011 Census of India- Methodology

The Indian census follows the canvasser method, where the data collectors visit every home and fill out a questionnaire. This exercise takes three weeks. It is followed by a revisional round where errors in the data are corrected.

According to the 15th census of India, the Indian population in the 2011 census stands at 1.21 billion or 121 crores. The population growth has been 17.7% decade over decade, slightly less from 2001 to 2011 according to the 2011 census of India. This is the first time that the population growth has reduced from a decade before.

Data Collected for Census 2011

Census 2011 data is one of the most important statistics that the government collects. This data is used to fund programs for the progress of the country. Indian census collects extensive data during its listing operations and analysis and aggregates numbers.

Some main data groups that get collected during 2011 census of India are demographic data, economic and financial situation data, literacy information, and data on religion. Census 2011 shows that the density of the population in India has grown from 325 people per square kilometer to 382 people per square kilometer. With these numbers, India is only second to Bangladesh in population density.

Highlights of 2011 Census Of India

Of the Indian population in the census 2011 count, the female population is growing faster than the males. The sex ratio, which measures the number of women per thousand men, is on par with the developed countries. Data from the 2011 census of India showed that there were 940 females to that 1,000 males.

  • This is an important number as India has consistently decreased the female population. For the last two decades, this number has improved, showing that the measures for eliminating female infanticide have been working.
  • The literacy rate is another important data that the census collects. Anyone who can read and write and is over seven years old is called literate. According to the census 2011 data, India's literacy rate is 74.04%. Kerala continues to be the state with the highest literacy at 93.91%, and Bihar continues to be the state with the lowest literacy at 63.82%.

While the female literacy rate has improved over a decade, it still stands lower than the male literacy rate. According to the census 2011, and the sex ratio in India is female literacy rate is 65.46%, and male literacy is 82.14%.

Census 2011 UPSC Notes

India has over 400 million workers, according to the 15th census of India. This accounts for about 39.1% of the total population of the country. Over 312 million out of the 400 million are main workers, and the rest are marginal workers. The aspirants preparing for the UPSC exam must prepare comprehensively and effectively for the exam.

Census 2011 UPSC PDF

The aspirants can get elaborate and elucidated knowledge of the pattern of the questions by solving the previous year question papers. An in-depth cognizance of all the pertinent topics will enable the candidates to gain insights into the exam.

Important Notes for UPSC
Koppen Climate ClassificationKalinga War
EcotoneIndian National Movement
Functions of ParliamentPlanning Commission Of India
First Round Table ConferenceProportional Representation
VolcanoConstitutional, Non-Constitutional, Statutory, and Quasi-Judicial Bodies in India


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FAQs on Census 2011

  • India’s population growth according to the Census of India Population growth, according to the Census 2011, was 17.72%. In accordance with the  15th census of India, the population of India stands at 1.21 billion or 121 crores. The population growth surged to the level of 17.7% in India.

  • Nagaland had a decreasing population growth according to the Census of India 2011. The census 2011 provides data on numerous bases such as demography, literacy, scheduled tribes, and scheduled castes. The census 2011 was the 15th census of India.

  • Uttar Pradesh had the highest population growth according to the Census of India 2011. The state which had the highest population. The complete details of the population, literacy rate, scheduled tribes, and scheduled castes is facilitated by the census 2011.

  • Lakshadweep had the lowest population growth at 6.3%, according to the Census of India 2011. It is the 15th census of India was conducted by the canvasser method. The census 2011 also reflected information on various other factors such as fertility, growth rate, and mortality rate.

  • The importance of census 2011 is that it provides valuable insights and data related to the census. It facilitates the information and data related to the demography, fertility, mortality, scheduled caste, literacy, scheduled tribe, literacy, housing and household amenities, literacy, etc.

  • The methodology that is used for the census 2011, is the canvasser method. In the canvasser method, the questionnaire is provided to all the candidates, they visit from door to door. The timeline was of three weeks. In the following revisional round, the data and the errors are corrected.

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