Andaman Chronicle

The Daily Diary of the Islands

Census India 2011: Islands Population Rises, While Tribal Population on Decline Says Sharma

Port Blair, May 22:  The Census 2011 final population data of Andaman and Nicobar islands has been released today by the Director of Census Operations, N K Sharma at the Directorate of Census Operations at Port Blair among media persons and others.

Releasing the data, he announced the total population of the islands as 3,80,581 comprising 2,02,871 males and 1,77,710 females with the growth rate of 6.86 per cent.  Despite the increase in the general population, the population of tribal people was decreased from 29,469 to 28,530 as compared to 2001 Census, registering a decrease of 3.19%.

On being asked the reason for decline in tribal population, Shri Yesodharan, Dy. Director, Census Operations revealed that the main reason is the Tsunami of 2004 wherein a lot of tribals in the Nicobar District had died. Another reason he said that there are a section of Nicobaris who donot want to be identified as Scheduled Tribes. They just want them to be registered as per their religion, he said and we cannot object.

The Dy. Director further revealed that there was good cooperation from other tribal group like the Jarawa and Shompens during the enumeration process. It was done with the help of the Tribal Welfare Department, said the Dy. Director. He also revealed that their department had also counted the Sentinelese by making two boat trips near the island, yet the exact population of the tribe is not clear due to the hostile behaviour of the tribe.

Meanwhile expressing happiness over the impressive growth of literacy rate in the islands, Shri NK Sharma said the final results showed a very good sign of progress in the literacy rate due to increased educational facilities extended under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and the land mark Right to Education programmes. He revealed that the literacy rate has been recorded as 86.6% with the growth rate of 5.3 per cent.  The latest census also shows the remarkable literacy rate of 82.4 per cent among the females, as compared to 75.2 per cent in the 2001 census, where as the literacy rate among the males crossed 90 per cent in the current census. 

The Director Census Operations also informed that the child sex ratio has been improved to 968, where as the adult sex ratio stood at 876 as against 846 in 2001 Census in the islands.

According to Census 2011, the working population of the Islands has been recorded as 1,52,535 workers comprising 1,20,889 males and 31,646 females, marking an increase from 38.26% to 40.08% in a decade.  The rest of the population of 2,28,046 persons comprising 81,982 males and 1,46,064 females are non workers.

The population enumeration of these Islands was conducted from 9th to 28th February, 2011 with a revisional round from 1st to 5th March, 2011. The provisional population totals received from the Census Charge Officers had been compiled released on 28th March, 2011 along with other states and UTs of the country.

Among the others who briefed the media was Shri Amitabh Mitra, Assistant Director, Census Operations.