NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology Chapter 2 The Demographic Structure of the Indian Society

Q1. Explain the basic argument of the theory of demographic transition. Why is the transition period associated with a population explosion?

Answer:- Theory of demographic transition suggests that population growth in linked to overall levels of economic development and that every society follows a typical pattern of development related population growth. There are three basic phases of population growth: Stage I: Primitive Stage [Underdeveloped countries] •Low population growth in a society that is underdeveloped and technologically backward. •In such societies like Africa birth rate is high since people are unaware of the advantages of having small families, they are not educated. •Death rate is also high since health and medical facilities are not available, therefore population is low. Stage II: [Developing countries]. The birth rate and death rate rank very high, the net growth rate remains low. Birth rate is high as in this society people live in a patriarchal society in which men decide how many children must be bom and male child is preferred. People are illiterate and ignorant. Death rate is also high since health and medical facilities are not available. Stage III: [Developed countries]. Birth rate in low because people are educated and aware and use contraceptives, birth control is popularised. Death rate is also low because of availability of health and medical facilities, therefore population is low. Transitional Stage: The stage between backwardness and skilled people]: In this stage growth rate of population is very high whereas death rates are brought down due to better medical facilities, nutrition and better medical and technological advancement therefore this transition period is associated with a population explosion.

Q2. Why did Malthus believe that catastrophic events like famines and epidemics that cause mass deaths were inevitable?

Answer:- English political economist Thomas Robert Malthus argued that human population tend to grow at a much faster rates than the rate which the means of human subsistence (land, agriculture) can grow. He said population rises in geometric progression whereas agricultural production can only grow in Arithmetic progression. Malthus believed that positive checks to population growth in the form of famines and diseases, was inevitable. These are nature’s way of dealing with the balance between food supply and increasing population. According to him, these natural checks are extremely painful and difficult. Although it helps to achieve a balance between population and subsistence by increasing the death rate.

Q3. What is meant by ‘Birth Rate’ and ‘Death Rate’? Explain why the birth rate is relatively slow to fall while the death rate declines much faster.

Answer:- Birth Rate. Number of births in any particular area per thousand people in the population is called Birth rate. It means that in any particular area, how many children were born per 1000 persons.Death Rate. Number of deaths in any particular area per thousand people in the population is called death rate. It means that in any particular area, how many people have died per 1000 persons.

It is a hard fact that birth rate reduces very slowly as compared to death rate. One of the main reasons is that death rate can be reduced very quickly with the help of health services and by keeping control over epidemics. But birth rate cannot be reduced to that extent. Birth rate is generally more because of fertility rate, religious ideas, social views, poverty, fatalism, illiteracy, etc. and it is very difficult to change the ideas of masses. They are of the view that the children are given by God. So, He will take care of them. That is why birth rate does not reduce as quickly as death rate.

Q4. Which states of India have reached or are very near the replacement levels of population growth? Which -ones still have very high rates of population growth? In your opinion, what could be some of the reasons for these regional differences?

Answer:- The meaning of replacement level is giving birth to two children by a couple. The states which have reached the replacement levels of population growth are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Goa, Punjab, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, etc. The states where growth rate of population is more are Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan etc.

States which are very close in reaching replacement level are Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh etc. There are certain regional factors of difference between rates of replacement levels and population growth and these factors are:

(i) If population will be literate then their thinking will definitely be positive. But if population will be illiterate then their thinking will be negative and they will be ignorant about most of the things. States with high literacy rate will have low growth rate and states with low literacy rate must have high growth rate.

(ii) Every state has its own values and customs which always influence the replacement level and growth rate.

(iii) There are number of people who favour giving birth to more number of children for more family income later on.

(iv) Each area has different cultural structure and literacy level and it also affects the growth rate.

Q5. What is meant by the age structure of the population? Why is it relevant for economic development and growth?
What is meant by the age structure of population? (C.B.S.E. 2010)

Answer:- The age structure of the population is the proportion of persons is different age groups relative to the total population. Three age groups are included in it and these are

  • 0-14 years
  • 15-59 years, and
  • 60 + years.

First group is of children, which is a dependent group. Second group is of youth which is also known as active or working class. Third group is of elder people. This will be clear from the given table.

The table tells us that the people who belong to the working class are more in number. They remain at the top during 1961—2011. Then comes children or the dependent group yet, their number is decreasing. In the end elder people are there. Average age in our country is 63 years and that is why they are less in number.

Importance of Age Structure in Economic Development and Growth.

(i) The given table tells us that the age group of 0-14 years is continually decreasing after 1961. It is so because National Population Policy was implemented in 1976 and general masses came to know about the merits of less population.

(ii) This table tells us that the number of people in the age group of 60+ years are increasing constantly. It also tells us that life expectancy in our country is also increasing. It is so because the country is progressing and health services in the country are continually increasing. That is why people with the age of 60+ years live more than the people in the earlier times.

(iii) Table also tells us that working class of population is also increasing. They are progressing which helps in the progress of the country.

Q6. What is meant by sex ratio? What are some of the implications of a declining sex ratio? Do you feel that parents still prefer to have sons rather than daughters? What in your opinion, could be some of the reasons for this preference?
According to demographers and sociologists, what are the reasons for the decline in the child sex ratio in India? (C.B.S.E. 2010)
Define sex ratio. What is meant by an adverse or falling sex ratio? (C.B.S.E. 2010)
Mention the factors responsible for the decline in the child sex ratio in India? (C.B.S.E. 2017 (O.D.))

Answer:- Sex ratio refers to the number of females per 1000 males in a given area at a specified time period. Sex ratio is an important indicator of gender balance in population. Historically, the sex ratio has been slightly in favour of females, which means the number of females per 1000 males has generally been somewhat higher.

But India has had a declining sex-ratio for more than a century now. From 972 females per 1000 males at the start of 20th century, the sex ratio, declined to 940 in 2011. The trends of the last four decades have been particularly worrying.

Yes, it is correct that even today, parents prefer to have male child as compared to girl child. Female foeticide is still going on, girls are sacrificed to have a boy, people take many steps to get a baby boy. Here, one thing is important that it has no direct relation with poverty. But it is directly related to socio-cultural factors. This has been linked to the prevailing social norms that tend to value males much more than females, which leads to ‘son preference’ and the relative neglect of girl babies.

  • The availability of the sonogram, originally developed to identify genetic or other disorders in the foetus, is used, today, to identify and selectively abort female foetuses.
  • It is striking that the lowest sex ratios are found in the most prosperous regions of India. Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat, etc. are among the richest states with lowest sex ratios. This shows the problem of selective abortions and not ignorance or illiteracy.

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology: Indian Society

NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Sociology: Social Change and Development in India

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