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Kerala to become 'zero population growth' state

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Kerala registering the lowest growth rate of population in the last one decade, the state is all set to achieve "zero population growth" in the coming years.

While the national rate of growth of population in the last 10 years is 17.6 per cent, the growth rate of state population during the period is 4.9 per cent, the lowest rate among Indian states, according to the latest Economic Review by the state Planning Board.

"The population growth trend shows that Kerala is moving towards zero population growth or towards negative growth," the Review for the year 2014, placed in the just concluded assembly session, said.

Quoting the final data published by the Directorate of Census, it said the state's population as on March 2011 was 3,34,06,061, which was 3,18,41,374 in 2001.

Of the total state population, 1,60,27,412 (48 per cent) are males and 1,73,78,649 (52 per cent) are females, it said.

The report reveals that six southern districts - Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Kollam, Pathanamthitta and Thiruvananthapuram - have lower growth rate.

Of the total population, around 64.1 per cent is in the working age group of 15-59 while the remaining 36 per cent is the dependent group. Among this, 12.6 per cent are old dependants and 23.3 per cent are young dependants.

Indicating the declining trend of child population, the Review said population growth rate of children, belonging to the age group of 0-6, is on a negative trend (-8.44 per cent).

Quoting Census, it said the total child population in the state during 2011 is 34,72,955, which was 37,93,146 as per 2001 Census. Stating that the proportion of child population has decreased from 12-10 per cent across the state, the report said the highest proportion of child population is in Malappuram district, the lowest is in Pathanamthitta.

Southern districts in Kerala show two per cent decline except Kollam, which has a decline of one per cent in the proportion of child population, while the northern districts show one per cent decline except Wayanad which has a decline of two per cent.

However, the state's density of population is much higher than that of the country. As per the figures of 2011 Census, the density of population in the state is 860 persons per square kilometre which is 382 at the national level.

Thiruvananthapuram is the most densely-populated district (1508) in the state while, Idukki is the least densely- populated district (255), the report added.

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