Highlight the salient features of India’s pre- independence occupational structure.


The various details about the population of British India were first collected through a census in 1881. It revealed the unevenness in India’s population growth. Subsequently, every ten years a census was conducted. Before 1921, India was in the first stage of demographic transition. The second stage of transition began after 1921. During British rule, the overall literacy level was less than 16%. Out of this, the female literacy level was at a negligible low of about 7%. Public health facilities were either unavailable to large chunks of population or when available, were highly inadequate. Consequently, water and air-borne diseases were common and took a huge number of deaths. The mortality rate was very high and in particular, the infant mortality rate was quite alarming i.e., it was 218 per thousand. The life expectancy was also very low i.e., 44 years in contrast to the present 68 years. There was also extensive poverty that prevailed in India during the colonial period which contributed to the worsening demographic profile of India during the British period.

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