Critically examine the factors affecting the distributional pattern of population in India.

India has a highly uneven pattern of population distribution largely determined by not only climate along with terrain and availability of water but also socio-economic and historical factors. Due to climate, terrain and availability of water, the northern Indian plains, deltas and coastal plains have higher proportion of population in comparison to south and southern hinterland, hilly and desert areas. However, availability of irrigation in states such as Rajasthan, availability of minerals and energy resources in states such as Jharkhand and development of transport network in Peninsular India have also resulted in moderate to high concentration of population where it was thinly populated in past.
With respect to the socio-economic and historical factors, the evolution of settled agriculture and further development in agriculture; pattern of human settlements; development of transport network, industrialization and urbanization have played important role in determining the pattern of population distribution in India. Its observed that the region falling in the river plains and coastal areas are regions of high population concentration, despite the degradation of natural resources like land and water in these regions the concentration is very high because of early history and human settlement and development of transport network. Examples for such settlements are city of Varanasi, Allahabad etc. 
On the other side the urban areas of Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmadabad, Jaipur, Banglore, Chennai have high population due to industrial development and urbanization drawing a large number of migrants from rural areas. 

Question for UPSC Mains:
Critically examine the factors affecting the distributional pattern of population in India.

Published: February 19, 2017 | Modified:October 15, 2020