Problems of Population in Bihar

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Bihar has 9 commissionaries, 38 districts, 101 Sub-Divisions, 534 blocks, 169 Statutory towns, 60 non-Statutory towns and 44,374 villages. These large numbers of administrative blocks not only indicate large geography of the state but these also symbolise large number of population in the state. Large number of population lead to various problems in the state. (Also Read: Physiographic Divisions of Bihar)

The Problem

According to Census-2011, Bihar had a population of 10,44,99,452.  Which was about 8.63% of the total population of India in 2011.

And even more worse thing is that total geographical area of Bihar is only 2.86% of the total geographical area of India. Which results into very high population density in the state. 

In terms of population density Bihar is top most state in India with 1106 people living in every One square Kilometer area. 

Problems of Population has various dimensions:-

  1. Very High Decadal Growth Rate:- The Decadal Growth Rate of Bihar was 25.4% between 2001-11. Which was much higher than previous (1991-2001) Decadal Growth Rate, which was 17.7%.
  2. Very High Fertility Rate(TFR)(Birth/women):- According to NITI Aayog data, Bihar had highest TFR in 2016 i.e. 3.3 Births/Women against the National average of 2.3 Births/Women.
  3. Very Low Urban Population:- About 88.7% of Bihar's population still live in rural areas and only 11.7% people live in urban areas.
  4. Negative Sex Ratio:- Bihar has only 918 Females on every 1000 Male population which is also lower than the all India average of 943.
  5. Low Literacy Rate:- Bihar has only 61.8% literacy rate (71.2% for Male and 51.5% for Female ) in Bihar which is very much lower than the national average of 74.4% literacy rate.


Low Literacy Rate

Bihar has very low literacy rate as discussed earlier, and especially in rural areas, which results into unawareness about the benefits of family planning.

Unawareness about Contraception

People of the state and especially in rural areas are unaware about the contraceptive measures such as condoms, copper-T, pregnancy prevention pills etc despite many awareness programmes.

Weak Economic Conditions

About 80% of the population of Bihar are earning their livelihood from agricultural activities and since Bihar has very low level of per capita land holding, which makes agriculture in Bihar a mere for subsistence. Hence farmers have very less money to spend on contraception, education and other productive investments. (Also Read: Geographical Structure of Bihar)

Religious and Social Sentiments

It is seen that rural population is socially and religiously very much limited or orthodox in nature, which prevents them from using contraceptive measures or family planning. 

Desire of Male Child 

In 21st century also, many people have desire for a male child instead of a girl child and when a girl child born they again go for another child and hence population increases.

Old Age Security

Since most of people in Bihar are engaged in agriculture and allied activities, which are informal. Hence, most of them do not have any kind of pension or social security for old age. Hence people tend to think that more number of child (especially male child) will make their old age financially and emotionally secure.


Large numbers of Uneducated People

Due to large number of members in the family, proper education for every child of the family is financially not viable/possible which tends to decrease in literacy rate and increase in the number of uneducated people in the state.

Ageing Population

As per India Ageing Report 2017 by the UN Population Fund(UNFPA), the share of population over the age of 60 years will increase from 8% (2015) to 19% (2050). Which will create twin problem of rising population and increase in old age dependents simultaneously.

Unemployment, Migration and Urban Problems

Large number of  population means large number of labour force, which is ready to work but the state has ver less number of industries, which results into rise in unemployment. And unemployment leads to migration mainly in search of a job for livelihood. Due to large scale migration from Bihar, many big cities are facing the problem of urban slums, housing scarcity, urban sprawl, food scarcity and many other urban problems.

Decrease in Wages

Increase in the supply of labour force and lower demand of labourers leads to decrease in wage rate as people agree to work on lesser wages in fear of losing the job.

Decline in Standard of Living 

Due to increase in population and in chain decreases literacy, employment and income, which result into decline in the standard of living of people. People tend to avoid any kind of luxury and even some basic requirements like, health, savings for future, house and even food.

Increase in criminal and Illegal Activities

It is quite obvious that when people live in poverty and destitution generally tend to snatching, thieving kidnaping & extortion, smuggling and other criminal and illegal activities, which creates law and order problem in the state. 

Stagnant Growth of Economy 

Economic growth of state is stagnant since very long.

Sustainability Risk

Since Bihar has 8.63% of total population of India but share of geographical area is only 2.86%. It creates serious ecological imbalances and hamper the sustainability of the system. Land, forest area, trees do not increase with the increase in population, hence it also put strain on biodiversity.

Way Forward

Increase Literacy Rate

For the problem of rising population the best solution is to increase the literacy rate. Although it will take much time than other measures but this solution has permanent and positive impact on society. 

Run Large Scale Campaign 

Despite various awareness programmes the growth rate of population in Bihar increased from 17.7% (between 1991-2001) to 25.4% (between 2001-11) according to Census-2011. Hence, government should run large scale public campaigning in which school children should have major role to inculcate awareness among the masses about contraception and family planning. so that the taboo of not talking these thing in public could get eradicated.

Increase the Income Prospects of People 

It is seen that people having good economic tend to follow methods of contraception and family planning. Hence, government should focus on increasing the earnings of people through increasing the employment and employability of the people) through various schemes like liberalising the policy of doing business (increase in Ease of doing business) and skill development programmes respectively. But both should happen simultaneously otherwise the system will fail. (Also Read: Climate of Bihar)

Break the Social/Religious Taboos

This can not be done without people's participation. People should develop scientific temperament rather than sticking to age-old/orthodox thinking. As it is also the part of the fundamental duties in Part IV-A in our constitution which puts a duty upon us to develop scientific temperament and do not stick to age-old  thinking as those are generally baseless, unscientific and illogical. 

Treat Girl and Boys Equally 

People still today are not able to accept the fact that boys and girls equal. They think that the girl will one day leave them after marriage, hence they do not take care much to educate.  Girls have a major role in controlling the population, hence government should focus more on educating them.