The first census in colonial India was conducted in 1881. The first census showed that India’s population was about 22 crores. It rose to 23.87 crores in 1891, but-fell to 23.83 crores in 1901. It rose to 25.21 crores in 1911 and again fell to 25.14 crores in 1921. From 1921 onwards it has shown a consistent rise. Therefore, 1921 is regarded as the defining year to mark demographic transition from first stage to second stage. The other social development indicators were also not quite encouraging.
(i) The overall literacy level was less than 16%.
(ii) Female literacy rate was about 7%.
(iii) Infant mortality rate was quite high at 218 per thousand.
(iv) Life expectancy was also quite low at 44 years.