The distribution of the population according to the characteristics such as age, sex, marital status, socio-economic status (caste, religion, language, occupation, etc.) and so on is called composition of population. It is the main pillar of the population studies. The study of composition of population helps us to find out the structure of the population of a country.
The age composition of population means the composition of population of a certain age group in a certain place or region. The age of population can be classified corresponding to the age composition. Generally, people between the age groups of 15-60 are known as economically active population whereas people below 14 and above 60 are known as economically dependent population. The study of composition of population helps us to know the schooling groups of children, economically active people and dependent population over 60 years of age.
If the population is classified according to sex, it is called composition of population by sex. If the population of a place is counted by male and female, the sex composition of population can be found out. This type of population is also useful to calculate sex ratio. Sex ratio shows the number of male per 100 female.
Nepal is a country of four castes and thirty-six different sub descendents. She is also known as a country of multilingual, multi-religious and multi-ethnic society. There was not any system of keeping the record of different castes of people from 1911 to 1981 census. It wasfor the first time in 1991 census, above 60 different castes and ethnicities were enumerated with their percentage.
Though Nepal is small in size, about 75 indigenous groups reside in Nepal. They have their own original languages and dialects. Nepali language is the official language and used in speaking and writing in government offices, schools and organizations as it is spoken by majority of population. There were 123 languages spoken as mother tongue reported in census 2011. Nepali was spoken as mother tongue by 44.64 percent of the total population followed by Maithili (11.67%). Other mother languages with share of population of more than 2 percent were Bhojpuri (5.98%), Tharu (5.77%), Tamang (5.1%), Newar (3.2%), Bajjika (3.0%), Magar (3.0%), Doteli (2.97%) and Urdu (2.6%), according to the CBS 2012.
The majority of population in Nepal is Hindu, followed by Buddhist. There are people of other religions like Muslim, Kirant, Christian, Jain, etc. Nepal was once constitutionally a Hindu Kingdom, though today it is a secular state. Now, other religions are also equally respected and there is no discrimination among different religions. According to Census 2011, there are ten types of religion categories. Hinduism covers 81.3% of the population, followed by Buddhism (9.0%), Islam (4.4%), Kirant (3.1%) Christianity (1.4%).
Population composition by occupation denotes the involvement of number of people into various occupations. In other words, it shows the major economic activities which people are involved in. Nepalese, by occupation, are mostly engaged in agriculture. However, there are other occupations which people have started to adopt. Industries, trade, agriculture-based occupations are developing recently.
The active population is the group of population which is economically active and can be involved in any income generating activity. In general, the population of age group 15-59 is considered economically active. But it does not mean that all the people in this age group are economically active. In Nepal, the population of 10 years and above is taken economically active population as majority of the people of that age or above are involved in agriculture. Therefore, economically active population is that which is involved in income generating activities.
The inactive population within the age groups of 0 to 14 years and over 59 is considered to be dependent. The inactive population are mostly economically inactive and therefore, they are dependent upon the economically active population. It is the population which cannot earn the livelihood and is dependent to others. With the increase in population growth, the dependent population also increases. The dependency ratio is calculated by dividing the population under 14 and over 59 years by the population of 14-59 years and multiplying by 100.
The composition of population means the distribution of the number of the population according to characteristics such as age,sex,marital status,socio-economic status. The merits of knowing the composition of population are enlisted below:
Population composition is the main pillar of the population studies. The study of composition of population helps us to find out the structure of the population of a country. The population composition can be discussed in the following ways: