NEW DELHI: Every third person in the country is young, while every fifth person an adolescent, revealed the latest data from the United Nations (UN).
India has an edge over other countries with 253 million adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years and 231 million youth in the age group of 15-24 years, it said.
According to a UN estimate, adolescent population of India exceeds the total population of 18 Western Asian countries, while India’s youth population is nearly equal to the total population of 18 Western Asian countries in 2011.
The data of the Registrar General of India (RGI) also revealed consistent increase in the literacy rates of adolescent and youth population, including females. At least 90 per cent literacy rate has been reported among the adolescent group, while youths clocked 86.1 per cent. “In 2011, every 10th adolescent and seventh youth in India were illiterates, as against every fifth adolescent and ninth youth in the world. States such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal have recorded higher literacy rate (85-95 per cent) in 2011. Tamil Nadu had registered higher decadal growth in literacy,” the RGI data said.
“Investing in this segment of population is the best way to leverage the nation’s competitive advantage,” Registrar General of India C Chandramouli said.
While inaugurating the World Population Day celebrations, jointly organised by the Office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said there was a need to create an atmosphere where young Indians could pursue their goals and excel in their chosen fields.
According to the UNFPA data on demographic transitions, 72 per cent of the total adolescents in India resides in rural areas while 68 per cent youth population lives in rural areas.