This is the stage when there is a wide gap between birth rate and death rate, and population increases sharply. With further economic develop­ment, the economy moves on to the third stage – both birth rate and death rate are low. Consequently, population growth rate is again low in the third stage. All the developed economies are in the third stage of demographic transition. In the case of India during the pre-independence period both birth rate and death rate were quite high. As a result, population grew at a lower rate. Population growth rate during 1950-51 was only 1.25 per cent per annum. However, population growth rate accelerated afterwards and reached a peak during 1980-81. A positive sign is that in the recent census the annual population growth rate has come down below 2 per cent. Some of the states such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Punjab have reached a reasonably lower birth rate.

However, in some of the major states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh population growth rate is very high. Life expectancy indicates the number of years a newborn child is expected to survive. It has increased from about 32 years in 1950-51 to more than 60 years at present. As a result, the percentage of the aged people in India has increased. On the other hand, a decline in birth rate has resulted in a decline in the percentage of children in the country.

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