It has been observed during various Censuses that the number of males and females are rarely at parity, the males generally outnumbering the females. The sex-ratio, expressed as the number of females per 1000 males, indicates whether there is any deficiency or surplus of females in the population. The sex-ratio is said to be favourable to the females if the number of females exceeds that of the males, and adverse, if the opposite holds good.
Table–3 placed at Annexure–3 presents sex-ratio of the population for the state and the districts from 1901 onwards.
As may be seen, the sex-ratio for the state has been favourable to females till 1961 except in the year 1931 when it came down to 995. After 1961, sex ratio has always remained unfavourable to females and the general trend during this period, over the decades, is that of decreasing sex ratio with exceptions of increases in 1961 and the present Census i.e. Census of India 2001. There has been an increase of 14 points in the sex ratio of Bihar at 2001 Census (921) vis-à-vis 1991 Census (907).
The sex ratio in Bihar since 1901 had always remained higher than that for the country as a whole till 1981 Census. However, the sex ratio of 911 for the composite state of Bihar and 907 of the leftover Bihar (after separation of Jharkhand) state, recorded in 1991, is much below the national sex ratio of 927. At the Census of India 2001, sex ratio of Bihar at 921 is still lower as compared to the national sex ratio which is 933. States having higher sex ratio than that of Bihar are Kerala (1058), Chhatisgarh (990), Tamilnadu (986), Andhra Pradesh (978), Manipur (978), Meghalaya (975), Orissa (972), Himachal Pradesh, (970), Uttaranchal (964), Karnataka (964), Goa (960), Tripura (950), West Bengal (944), Jharkhand (941), Mizoram (938), Assam (932), Rajasthan (922) and Maharashtra (922). The state of Gujarat has recorded the same sex ratio (921) as has been observed in case of Bihar. Kerala is the only state in the country which has recorded a favourable sex ratio for females according to the provisional population figures of Census of India 2001.
It can further be seen from Table-3 placed at Annexure-3 that Gopalganj, Siwan, Saran and Nawada are the four districts where sex-ratio had always remained favourable to the females right from 1901 to 1981. However, Siwan has had the privilege of having a favourable sex-ratio till Census of India 2001. There are a few districts such as Sheohar, Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali and Samastipur where a favourable sex-ratio had been an important phenomenon of population characteristics till 1961 Census but the sex-ratio has shown a declining trend thereafter. However, according to the provisional population figures, sex-ratio has shown an upward trend during 2001 Census in all the districts of Bihar with the sole exception of Bhojpur district, where the sex-ratio has slightly declined and Vaishali district, where the sex-ratio has remained unchanged.
Statement–2 below helps to assess the comparative position of sex-ratio in 37 districts of the state during 1991 and 2001 Censuses.
|STATEMENT – 2|
Ranking of Districts by Sex-ratio (No. of Females per 1000 Males)
|SL||Name of District||Sex-Ratio in 2001||Rank in 2001||Sex-Ratio in 1991||Rank in 1991|
From the statement, it would appear that sex-ratio is favourable to females only in two districts viz, Siwan (1033) and Gopalganj (1005) during 2001 Census. These two districts occupied the first two positions at the time of 1991 Census also, but then Gopalganj district had recorded a sex-ratio (968) of less than the parity level. While Saran and Nawada districts have also retained their position during the two Censuses, Madhubani and Kishanganj have exchanged their places. Lakhisarai district, which was at the 31st position during 1991 Census, has shown a significant improvement and has climbed up to the 12th position. Bhojpur is the only district in the state which has recorded a downward trend in sex ratio over the decade and slipped down to the 30th position during present census from the 17th position which it occupied during 1991 census. The sex ratio of Patna district (873) is the lowest during 2001 Census, followed by Bhagalpur (878) and Munger (878) districts. During 1991 Census also, these three districts occupied the lowest positions with slight variations in ranking. There are as many as 12 districts viz, Siwan (1033), Gopalganj (1005), Saran (965), Nawada (948), Madhubani (943), Kishanganj (940), Gaya (937), Aurangabad (936), Muzaffarpur (928), Jehanabad (928), Samastipur (927) and Lakhisarai (923), which have recorded sex-ratio higher than the state average of 921 during 2001 Census and Vaishali is the only district which equals the sex-ratio of the state.
Density of Population
Population in relation to the area is termed as population density. In this paper, the number of persons living in an area of one square kilometer has been taken as the density of population (persons/sq.km). It can be seen from Table–1 placed at Annexure–1 that the density of population, that is, number of persons per sq. km. in Bihar is 880 during 2001 Census as against 685 at the time of 1991 Census. After bifurcation of the state of Bihar and creation of the new state of Jharkhand, the density of this state has considerably increased, since Bihar possesses comparatively less geographical area to its share in proportion to population size, while Jharkhand state is much sparsely populated in comparison to the area that has come to its share. This has resulted in sudden rise in population density of the left over Bihar state. Bihar now ranks second in density of population among the 28 states of the country and comes only after the state of West Bengal which has a population density of 904. All other states have lower densities in varying degrees.
The position of different districts of the state, so far population density is concerned, during 1991 and 2001 Census is shown in the Statement–3 below:
|STATEMENT – 3|
Ranking of Districts by Population Density
|SL||Name of |
|Rank in |
|Rank in |
Change in population density mainly depends on the rate of population growth and the land utilisation patterns. Accordingly, the density varies from place to place and from district to district. It can be seen from the statement above that among the districts Patna is the most densely populated (1471) district, followed by Darbhanga (1442) and Vaishali (1332). In 1991 Census also, these districts stood at the same positions although their population density has increased considerably over the decade on account of growth in population during 1991-2001, while the geographical area virtually remains the same during the decade. It transpires from the statement above that Patna, Darbhanga, Vaishali, Saran, Begusarai, Siwan, Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Sheohar, Gopalganj, Madhubani and Nalanda are high density districts (population density ranging between 1000 and 1500) while Gaya, Kishanganj, Lakhisarai, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Paschim Champaran, Banka, Jamui and Kaimur are comparatively low density districts (population density ranging between 300 and 700). The labels of two extreme densities go to Patna (1471) and the newly created district of Kaimur (382). All the low density districts of composite Bihar, according to 1991 Census, now fall in the newly created state of Jharkhand. There are as many as 18 districts in the present state of Bihar whose population density is higher than the state average of 880.