The population of a country or its constituent states keep changing over a period of time. The excess of incidence of births over that of deaths causes an increase in the population of the country or the state and this is termed as natural increase. Migration is another important factor for population variation, though, normally it does not have a substantial effect on the population growth of any country or state. Hence, it is mainly the interaction of births and deaths that alters the population status of any country or state.Table–2 placed at Annexure–2 shows the district-wise decade variation in population since 1901. The diagram depicting the decennial growth rate (1901-2001) of Bihar is presented in this paper. It is observed from Table–2 that the growth rate has shown very wide fluctuations in the districts over the decades. During 1901-11, while the state and most of its districts have shown an increase in growth rate of their population, the districts of Patna, Nalanda, Jehanabad, Buxar, Kaimur, Rohtas, Saran, Siwan and Gopalganj have shown a decrease in their population size although the decrease has been very nominal in case of Patna and Nalanda. During 1911-21, when the population of the state and most of the districts decreased, there was an increase in population in Saran, Siwan, Gopalganj, West Champaran, East Champaran, Purnia, Katihar, Araria and Kishanganj districts of north Bihar. From the decade 1921-31 onwards, no district in the state registered a negative growth rate, i.e. decline in population, although fluctuations were noticed in the population growth rate among the districts in all the succeeding decades. From the decade 1951-61, almost all the districts had started showing substantial increase in the growth rate of population. In the decade 1991-2001, as many as 22 districts have recorded population growth rate higher than the state average (28.43%) among which the newly created district of Sheohar ranks first (36.16%). The district with lowest population growth rate during the decade is Nalanda (18.64%) which, in fact, has shown a decline in the population growth rate vis-à-vis 1981-91 (21.73%).
Katihar – growth rate of Population