In this thirty-second archive story by Kristian Bertel, we take the pulse on the Indian population based on a portrait from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, India. Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
India is the second most populous country in the world with over 1.2 billion people, more than a sixth of the world's population. Already containing seventeen and a half percent of the world's population, India is projected to be the world's most populous country by 2022, surpassing China, its population reaching 1.6 billion by 2050. This people portrait was taken by the photographer in Varanasi, India.
India is the second most populous country in the world with over 1.2 billion people, more than a sixth of the world's population. Already containing seventeen and a half percent of the world's population, India is projected to be the world's most populous country by 2022, surpassing China, its population reaching 1.6 billion by 2050. This people portrait was taken by the photographer in Varanasi, India.

Overpopulation in India

India's population growth rate is one point two percent ranking ninety-fourth in the world in 2013. The Indian population had reached the billion mark by 1998. India has more than fifty percent of its population below the age of twentyfive and more than sixtyfive percent below the age of thirtyfive. It is expected that, in 2020, the average age of an Indian will be twentynine years, compared to thirtyseven for China and fortyeight for Japan and by 2030 India's dependency ratio should be just over zero point four.

The Indian people
India has more than two thousand ethnic groups, and every major religion is represented, as are four major families of languages Indo-European, Dravidian, Austroasiatic and Sino-Tibetan languages as well as two language isolates, the Nihali language spoken in parts of Maharashtra and the Burushaski language spoken in parts of Northern India. Further complexity is lent by the great variation that occurs across this population on social parameters such as income and education. Only the continent of Africa exceeds the linguistic, genetic and cultural diversity of the nation of India. India is projected to overtake China as the world's most populous nation by 2030. India's population growth has raised concerns that it would lead to widespread unemployment and political instability. Note that these projections make assumptions about future fertility and death rates which may not turn out to be correct in the event. Fertility rates also vary from region to region, with some higher than the national average and some lower. the modern Indian population is composed of two genetically divergent and heterogeneous populations which mixed in ancient times, known as Ancestral North Indians and Ancestral South Indians that corresponds to the Dravidian-speaking population of southern India, whereas the first group corresponds to the Indo-Aryan-speaking population of northern India.

Photography of the Indian population
Present and current population of India is 1,326,981,549 and with 1.32 billion people it is the second most populous country in the world, while China is on the top with over 1,415,489,506, which is 1.41 billion people. The figures show that India represents almost eighteen percent of the world's population, which means one out of six people on this planet live in India. Although, the crown of the world's most populous country is on China's head for decades, India is all set to take the numero uno position by 2030. With the population growth rate at one point two percent, India is predicted to have more than 1.53 billion people by the end of 2030. More than fifty percent of India's current population is below the age of twentyfive and over sixtyfive percent below the age of thirtyfive. About seventytwo percent of the population lives in some 638,000 villages and the rest almost twentyeight percent in about 5,480 towns and urban agglomerations. The birth rate which is child births per thousand people per year is twentytwo births out of thousand people in the population, while death rate, which means deaths per thousand individuals per year, is six point four deaths out of thousand people in the population. Fertility rate is tow point seventytwo children born per woman and Infant mortality rate is a little over thirty deaths per thousand live births. India has the largest illiterate population in the world. The literacy rate of Indiahas a male literacy rate at eightytwo percent and female at sixtyfive percent. Kerala has the highest literacy rate at ninetyfour percent, Lakshadweep ninetythree percent is on the second position and Mizoram almost ninetytwo percent is on third. Every year, India adds more people than any other nation in the world, and in fact the individual population of some of its states is equal to the total population of many countries.

"India, has 190 million people and the growth rate is a little over sixteen percent. The population of the second most populous state Maharashtra, which has a growth rate of nine point fortytwo percent. Bihar, with a littlle over eight percent, is the third most populous state in India. West Bengal with almost eight percent growth rate, Andhra Pradesh seven point fortyone percent and Tamil Nadu with a little over six percent are at fourth, fifth and sixth positions respectively"

What is overpopulation?
Overpopulation occurs when a species' population exceeds the carrying capacity of its ecological niche. It can result from an increase in births also knopwn as the fertility rate, a decline in the mortality rate, an increase in immigration, or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources. Moreover, it means that if there are too many people in the same habitat, people are limiting available resources to survive. Human overpopulation or population overshoot occurs when the ecological footprint of a human population in a specific geographical location exceeds the carrying capacity of the place occupied by that group. Overpopulation can further be viewed, in a long term perspective, as existing if a population cannot be maintained given the rapid depletion of non-renewable resources or given the degradation of the capacity of the environment to give support to the population. Changes in lifestyle could reverse overpopulated status without a large population reduction. The term human overpopulation refers to the relationship between the entire human population and its environment such as the Earth or to smaller geographical areas such as countries. Overpopulation can result from an increase in births, a decline in mortality rates, an increase in immigration, or an unsustainable biome and depletion of resources. It is possible for very sparsely populated areas to be overpopulated if the area has a meagre or non-existent capability to sustain life for instance in a desert and the change in number of individuals for unit area in a given locality is an Important variable that has a significant impact on the entire ecosystem.

Causes of overpopulation in India
As the photographer found out the two main common causes leading to over population in India are that the birth rate is still higher than the death rate. We have been successful in declining the death rates but the same cannot be said for birth rates. And that the fertility rate due to the population policies and other measures has been falling but even then it is much higher compared to other countries. The above causes are interrelated to the various social issues in our country which are leading to over population. Early marriages in India also have an influence and even though legally the marriageable age of a girl is 18 years, the concept of early marriage still prevails and getting married at an young age prolongs the child bearing age. Also, in India, marriage is a sacred obligation and a universal practice, where almost every woman is married at the reproductive age. Another overpulation in India factor is the poverty and Illiteracy, which for the rapid growth of population is poverty. Impoverished families have this notion that more the number of members in the family, more will be the numbers to earn income. Some feel that more children are needed to look after them in their old age. Also hunger can be cause of death of their children and hence the need for more children. Strange but true, Indian still lag behind the use of contraceptives and birth control methods. Many of them are not willing to discuss or are totally unaware about them. "- Illiteracy is thus another cause of over population Age old cultural norm where the sons are the bread earners of the families in India is also one of the reasons. This age old thought puts considerable pressure on the parents to produce children till a male child is born. More the better. Last but not the least, we cannot ignore the fact that illegal migration is continuously taking place from Bangladesh, Nepal leading to increased population density", the Photographer says.

Read also:  Crowded places in India

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of huge crowd of people in Varanasi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.