31 March 2011

India is really really big

I just got this email from the Skeptical Bandit (republished with permission). Just to clarify - this is not my alter ego but a real person with poor taste in pseudonyms.
India released its prelim Census estimates today. Lots of blog worthy nuggets -
India's population is about the size of the US, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Japan put together. 
Its more than the whole of Africa and just UP (my beloved home state) has a greater population than any developing country but China or Indonesia- so much for all the people who say India is over-studied in development or over-invested in aid!!! 
The cost of doing a Census is about 40 cents per person. This is somewhere between one-thirtieth and one-fiftieth of the cost in South Sudan. Not saying that the differences in cost of service delivery are always the same magnitude, but guess why it REALLY makes sense to be looking at India. 
Lots of changes in demographics - an improving sex ratio, decreasing growth (esp in the most populous states) and a pretty significant jump in literacy with greater gains for women.
I've attached their PDF presentation here. Take a look. very nifty!

A note on this map - non-Indians should read the numbers with care - the commas are in unusual places due to Crores or Lakhs or some weird thing like that.

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