According to the 2001 Census brochures, India's population as on March 2001 was 1,02,87,37,436. India's share of the world surface area of 135.79 million sq.km is a mere 2.4%; its share of the world population is 16.7%. The United Nations Population Division estimates that India is likely to overtake China in 2050 and become the world's most populous country with a share of 17.2% of the total world .
The world population is estimated to have grown at an annual rate of 1.4% during 1990-2000.While China registered a growth rate of just 1% in the decade; India's growth rate of population in the decade 1991-2000 was 1.9%.China's growth rate is almost at par with that of the USA.
Distinct phases can be discerned in the population growth of India during 1901-2001.
|1951-1981||Rapid and high growth|
|1981-2001||High growth but signs of slowing down|
The picture of the population growth in India accords well with the theory of demographic transition and the country is now believed to have entered fifth phase characterized by rapidly declining fertility. In absolute terms the population of India has shown a huge increase during the decade 1991-2001 however the change in the net addition has shown a steady declining trend over the decades from 1961.The percentage decadal growth during 1991-2001 has shown the sharpest decline since independence.