Birth rate and death rate in India are very high as against many countries of the world.
Number of children born per thousand persons in a year is called birth rate.
Number of persons dying per thousand in a year is called death rate. It is said that birth rate in India is 25, it means that in India 25 babies are born per thousand persons in a year.
The following table shows the position of birth rate and death rate of India in the last 100 years:
Changes in birth rate and death rate of population are shown in Table 2 and Fig. 3. In the last 100 years from 1901 to 2001, whereas birth rate has declined marginally, death rate has fallen to l/3rd of what it was. It is because of this fact that country has landed itself in a position of population explosion. From 1901 to 1921, population remained stable, because both birth rate and death rate were equal. After 1921, improvement in health and medical facilities brought down the incidence of death due to plague, cholera, influenza, epidemics, etc. In this way, death rate declined sharply.
With proper distribution of food grains in the country death rate due to famines also declined. Thus, death rate in the period subsequent to 1921 has fallen sharply. However, birth rate has not shown signs of substantial fall. It is only after 1961 that due to intensive family planning propaganda that some decline in birth rate is visible.
In 2000, birth rate declined to 25.8 per thousand while death rate has been 8.5 per thousand. Birth rate being more than the death rate, growth rate has been rising rapidly. Birth rate and death rate in India are higher than the birth rate and death rate of many other countries of the world. For example in England, birth rate is 12 and death rate is 11 per thousand. In USA, birth rate is 15 and death rate is 8 per thousand. In Germany, birth rate is 10 and death rate is 10 per thousand, that is, death rate is higher than birth rate.