Friday, April 1, 2011

"India census: population goes up 1.21bn"

“India census: population goes up 1.21bn”
Claire V. Madill

1) This article describes 2011 Indian census, which collected information regarding India’s population and classified the population according to gender, religion, education, and occupation. This survey was conducted by 2.7 million Indian census officials from India, who visited 670,000 towns and villages.

2) The sponsor of this research is obviously the government of India. The government of India conducted the survey on which all of the statistics in this article are based upon.

3) The government of India could have been interested in finding an highly optimistic number regarding the total population of India. India is a rising power, and its large population is one reason many believe it will become a main power in the international political and economic system. Overestimating the population makes India seem even stronger and larger and also makes India appear like more of a competitive threat to China.
This article also mentions statistics regarding the gender gap between girls and boys in India. The Indian government might be interested in underestimating the gap or providing evidence that the gap is closing. Such a finding would make it seem like India is advancing in the way of human rights, improving the India’s prestige and appearance.

4) Not much is mentioned on the methodology of the census. The article does mention the number of officials that conducted the census (about 2.7), the approximate number of towns (7,000) and villages (600,000), and outlined some of the challenges census officials faced (large area, diverse cultures, high levels of illiteracy, large homeless population).

5) Typical of many BBC News articles, the results are communicated in a clear informative manner. The information regarding total population and the statistics regarding gender gaps are straightforwardly written. A small sidebar within the article provides a easy way to review some of the main statistics.

6) One graph is included in the article. It is used in a clear informative manner. The graph has a clear title, “Falling number of girls born in India since 1961.” Both axis of the graphs are labeled, and the source is located right underneath the graph.

"India Census: Population Goes up to 1.21bn." BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation, 31 Mar. 2011. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. .

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