he population of Orissa which was 316.60 lakh in 1991 increased to 368.05 lakh in 2001. This accounted for a decennial growth rate of 16.25% against 20.06% in the previous decade, which is lower than the corresponding growth rates of 21.34% and 23.86% at the national level. The Crude Birth Rate (CBR) in Orissa in 2002 was 23.2 which is lower than the All-India figure of 25 but the Crude Death Rate (CDR) in the State (9.8) is much higher than the All-India figure (8.1).
The density of population which was 203 per sq. km. in 1991 has increased to 236 per sq. km. in 2001, which is lower than the All India average of 313 per sq. km. Out of the total population, 85.01% live in rural areas and depends mostly on agriculture for their livelihood. Urban population constitutes 14.99%.
The sex-ratio (i.e number of females per thousand males) in Orissa has marginally increased from 971 in 1991 to 972 in 2001 and this is much higher than the All India average of 927 in 1991 and 933 in 2001. In respect of SC and ST population also the State fared better sex ratio. As per 2001 Census, the sex ratio among SC and ST was 979 and 1003 respectively as against 936 and 978 at the All India level.
As per the 2001 Census, the rural population in Orissa is 31,287,422 and urban population is 5,517,238. The percentage of urban population to total population in Orissa at 14.99% is much below the national average of 27.78%. The projected population of Orissa for the year 2005, 2010 and 2015 will be in the order of 386.04 lakh 406.99 lakh and 425.70 lakh respectively.
As per the 2001 Census, the ST & SC population constitute 22.13% and 16.53% respectively of the total State population. Together they constitute 38.66% of the State population. This is comparatively higher than the All India figures 16.20% SC and 8.19% ST population. However it is interesting to note that although the percentage of SC population in the State has been increasing since 1981, that of ST population though marginally has been declining. The ST population which constituted 22.43% of the State population in 1981 fell to 22.21% in 1991 and further to 22.13% as per the latest 2001 Census. Between the decades 1991-2001, while the SC population has increased by 0.33% the ST population has decreased by 0.08%. Considering heavy concentration of ST and SC population in as many as 13 districts of the State a total 69613.80 sq. km area which constitutes 44.70% of the total State area have been declared as Scheduled Area as per 1991 Census.
As per NSSO Survey, against a 1.88 prevalence of disability in rural areas at national level in 1981, the prevalence was over 2% in Orissa. In 1991, the prevalence of disability in rural areas was close to 2-2.5% in Orissa. (National Human Development Report, Planning Commission, 2002)
Census 2001 data shows that 38.79% of the total State population constitutes workers. The percentage of main workers and marginal workers are respectively 67.2% and 32.8% of the total workers. Women still lag behind their male counterparts in respect of working population. The proportion of male workers to male population and female workers to female population in 2001 Census stood at 53% and 25% respectively. Pressure on agriculture still continues to be high in Orissa as revealed from the category-wise working population figures of 2001 Census. Out of the total workers 24.1% are cultivators, 14.7% are agricultural labourers, 2.8% engaged in household industries and 25.6% were other workers. However, there is wide disparity among the districts in the State in respect of major demographic sections.
The census results of 2001 reveals that the rank (ordered from highest value to lowest value) of Orissa among the 35 States and Union Territories of India is 11th in population size, 29th in decadal growth rate, 8th in sex ratio, 22nd in density of population, 26th in literacy and 16th in per cent of urban population.