Census India 1931: The Population Problem in Mysore

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This article is an extract from


Report by

J. H. HUTTON, C.I.E., D.Sc., F.A.S.B.,

Corresponding Member of the Anthropologische Gesselschaft of Vienna.

Delhi: Manager of Publications


(Hutton was the Census Commissioner for India)

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The Population Problem in Mysore

Mysore State, the centre and main area of the Kanarese speaking population of south India, after Hyderabad the most populous of all the States, and the largest in area after that State and Jammu and Kashmir, has an area of 29,326 square miles, and a population of 6,557,302, with a mean density of 224 persons per square mile. The increase of population since 1921 has been 9.7 per cent., though the increase of natural population alone has been 10. 8.

This increase has not been evenly distributed, as the State is divided into the Malnad, that is the area of the high hills in the west, where the density falls in one taluk to 66 and where the population is little more than constant, and the Maidan, which is the comparatively level land constituting the plateau which is the main bulk of the State, and in which the increase and density is greater than that of the State as a whole. The highest rural density reached is 457 per square mile in the Narsipur taluk. The State includes the large Civil and Military station of Bangalore which is under. British administration.

The area under cultivation has increased during the decade by 11 5% while a number of important works has increased the area under irrigation by 25% since 1921. Various improvements in agriculture and cattle breeding are taking place, and the cinema is used for instruction.


A Land Mortgage Bank has been established and an Agriculturists' Debt Relief Regulation has been passed by the Legislature. The number of cooperative societies has increased by 713 and their membership by 45,000, making a total membership of 137,615, and. the deposits in the Government Savings Bank amounted in 1931 to nearly Rs. 17,000,000, having more than doubled during the decade. Public health was good on the whole throughout the decade, and though prices fell towards its close harvests were good and the cultivator did not suffer severely. The State is importing more cereals for food than it exports, the imports being more than half in husked rice, but it is estimated that some 500,000 more acres can still be brought under irrigation.

Rice and ragi are the staple crops. Industries are being developed, but it is doubtful if they can be so developed as to keep pace with the needs of the population in periods of normal increase, and the Census Superintendent for the State points out that tabus such as that on marital connection during lactation, or at any rate soon after confinement, which tend to keep down the birth rate, are no longer observed as they used to be, while children are suckled only five or six months instead of until able to consume ordinary food. Meanwhile the Mysore Government has instituted a Birth Control Clinic in the Maternity hospital at Bangalore.

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