Importance of Child Population to Compute Educational Indicators (2023)
In this brief note, we discuss the usefulness and importance of the child population in different age groups in computing enrolment-based indicators, which is considered necessary because of the absence of a projected population in a given year for which indicators are to be computed. The single-age population through which the school-age child population is estimated is the latest available through the 2011 Census. However, the same is required in a year based on which enrolment indicators are required.
The projected child population in India can be obtained from various official sources specializing in demographic data and projections. Some of the commonly used sources for the projected child population in India are described below:
Census of India: The Census of India is conducted every ten years and provides detailed demographic information, including population projections. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner of India is the official authority responsible for conducting the census once a decade.
NFHS: National Family Health Survey is a large-scale survey being conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. It provides comprehensive data on various aspects of population, health, and nutrition, including projections of child population.
Sample Registration System (SRS): The SRS is an ongoing demographic survey conducted by the Registrar General of India. It provides data on birth rates, death rates, and other demographic indicators, which can be used to estimate child population projections.
United Nations Population Division (UNPD): The UNPD publishes population projections for countries worldwide, including India. Their projections are based on various demographic factors and can be valuable for estimating child population trends.
Research Institutes and Think Tanks: Several research institutes and think tanks in India, such as the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), Population Research Centres, and other academic institutions, research population dynamics and may provide projections of the child population as part of their studies.
It is important to note that population projections are uncertain and can vary depending on the methodology and assumptions. Therefore, referring to official government sources or reputable research institutions for the most reliable and up-to-date projections is advisable. Expert Group on Population Projection (2020), set up by the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, is an official projection based on the 2011 Census, also used in computing indicators in official publications. However, even though this does not provide district-specific projections, the state-specific projections can be used in working out district-specific projections in a state.
Before we view the present size of the child population in 2021-22, briefly below, we discuss the enrolment-based indicators, such as Gross & Net Enrolment Ratios, Adjusted-Net Enrolment Ratios, and Age-specific Enrolment Ratios.
Enrollment ratios are important indicators used to measure participation and access to education at different levels. These enrollment ratios are crucial for assessing the progress and equity in educational access and participation. They help identify gaps and disparities, monitor educational policies, and guide interventions to ensure inclusive and equitable education.
A brief description & differentiation of the commonly used enrollment ratios are presented below:
- Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER): The Gross Enrollment Ratio represents the total enrollment in a specific level of education (such as primary, secondary, or higher education) as a percentage of the total population in the corresponding age group. It includes the enrolled students in a specific level of education and those who may be older or younger but are studying at that level.
- Net Enrollment Ratio (NER): The Net Enrollment Ratio is a more refined indicator measuring the actual education participation rate. It represents the number of official school-age children enrolled in a particular level of education as a percentage of the total population in that age group. NER excludes those who are over-age or under-age for that level of education.
- Gross Enrollment Ratio for a Specific Age Group: This enrollment ratio focuses on the enrollment of children within the official age range for a specific level of education. It measures the percentage of children in the relevant age group who are enrolled at that level.
- Gender Parity Index (GPI): The Gender Parity Index compares the enrollment of girls to boys in a particular level of education. It is calculated by dividing the enrollment ratio of girls by the enrollment ratio of boys. A GPI value of 1 indicates gender parity, while a value below 1 indicates a gender imbalance in enrollment.
GER considers all enrolled students, regardless of their age, providing an overall picture of enrollment in a specific level of education. On the other hand, NER focuses on children’s participation within the official age range, excluding over-age and under-age students. Enrollment ratios for a specific age group concentrate on the enrollment of children within the designated age bracket. Whereas the GPI specifically examines the gender distribution in enrollment, highlighting gender disparities or parity in education.
Projected Child Population: 2021-22, All India & State-specific
|India/ State/ UT||Projected Population by Age Group – Overall|
|Age 3-5||Age 6-10||Age 11-13|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||13170||12346||25516||20050||18259||38309||12840||11955||24795|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and
Daman and Diu
|Jammu and Kashmir||317667||297333||614000||517000||472000||988000||475000||405000||881000|
Reference: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Report of the Expert Group on Population Projection, June 2020
The Usefulness of Clientele Child Population
Computation of educational indicators requires the child population, which refers to the number of children within a specific age range eligible for education. The child population is the denominator in calculating various educational indicators to assess access, participation, and quality of education. Below, we present a few key points concerning to child population in computing educational indicators:
- Age Range: The child population for educational indicators is typically defined based on the age range considered for compulsory or primary education, which varies across countries but is commonly focused on children between the ages of 5 and 17.
- Census Data: National census data and demographic surveys are reliable sources to estimate the child population. These sources provide information on the number of children within the specified age range in a given geographic area, such as a country, state, or district.
- Age-Specific Enrollment: The child population calculates enrollment rates, which indicate the proportion of children of a specific age group who are enrolled in school. By comparing the number of enrolled children to the total child population, enrollment rates can be determined for different levels of education.
- Gender Disaggregation: The child population is disaggregated by gender to analyze gender disparities in education as this helps identify differences in enrollment and access to education between boys and girls, allowing policymakers to address gender inequalities and promote gender equity in education.
- Out-of-School Children: The child population is crucial for estimating the number of out-of-school children. The population of children not attending school can be determined by subtracting the number of enrolled children from the total child population. This information helps identify the magnitude of the out-of-school children problem and develop targeted interventions.
- Planning & Resource Allocation: The child population is a basis for educational planning and resource allocation. It helps policymakers estimate the infrastructure, teaching staff, and resources needed to accommodate the expected number of children in the education system.
- Time Trend Analysis: By tracking changes in the child population over time, educational indicators can be monitored and analyzed to assess progress or identify challenges in expanding access to education, improving enrollment rates, and addressing educational gaps.
Considering the child population is essential for computing educational indicators accurately, as it provides a meaningful context for understanding the educational landscape and formulating evidence-based policies and interventions. It enables policymakers, researchers, and education stakeholders to measure and track progress in achieving educational goals and ensure that educational resources and opportunities are effectively allocated to meet the needs of the child population.
Several indicators in the field of school education require the consideration of the child population. These indicators help assess various aspects of access, participation, and quality of education. Below placed indicators are some of the critical indicators that are heavily based on child population:
- Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER): It measures the total enrollment in a specific level of education (such as primary, secondary, or tertiary) as a percentage of the child population in the corresponding age group.
- Net Enrollment Ratio (NER): It calculates the proportion of children of official school age who are enrolled in a specific level of education, taking into account the age-specific population.
- Out-of-School Children: This indicator estimates the number and percentage of children within the official school age who are not enrolled in any formal education system.
- Gender Parity Index (GPI): It compares girls’ enrollment rates to boys, highlighting gender disparities in education. GPI values below 1 indicate gender gaps in favor of boys, while values above 1 indicate gender gaps in favor of girls.
- Completion Rate: It measures the percentage of children who complete a particular level of education within the expected duration, providing insights into educational attainment.
- Transition Rate: It assesses the flow of students from one level of education to the next, indicating the progression and continuity in the educational system.
- School Attendance Rate: It represents the percentage of enrolled children attending school regularly, indicating their active participation in learning.
- Literacy Rate: It measures the percentage of individuals within a specific age group who can read and write, reflecting the overall literacy level.
- Equity Indicators: These indicators examine educational opportunities and resource distribution among different socioeconomic groups, marginalized populations, and regions within a country.
These indicators help policymakers, planners, researchers, and education stakeholders understand the status of education, identify gaps and challenges, and develop evidence-based strategies for improving educational outcomes. By considering the child population, these indicators provide valuable insights into children’s access, equity, and quality of education.
Age-Groups Corresponding to Level of Education
In order to compute enrollment and other indicators in school education, it is necessary to consider the child population at different levels of education. The details of the child population required to compute these indicators based on the levels of school education are presented below:
- Primary Education
- Age Group: Typically, primary education covers children in the age group of 6 to 10.
- Child Population: The child population data within the specified age range is needed to calculate indicators such as Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER), Net Enrollment Ratio (NER), and Out-of-School Children.
- Upper Primary Education
- Age Group: Upper primary education includes children in the age group of 11 to 14.
- Child Population: The population data for children within the relevant age bracket is required to compute enrollment and transition indicators for upper primary education.
- Secondary & Higher Secondary Education
- Age Group: Secondary education typically covers students in the age group of 15 to 18 years.
- Child Population: The child population data within the specified age range is necessary to calculate indicators like GER, NER, completion rate, and transition rate for secondary education.
- Higher Education
- Age Group: Higher education encompasses students beyond the secondary level, usually aged 18 years and above.
- Child Population: In the case of higher education, the focus shifts from the child population to the population of eligible students who have completed secondary education or equivalent qualifications. This population data is used to compute enrollment and attainment indicators for higher education.
It is important to note that the specific age ranges and definitions may vary across countries and educational systems. The availability of accurate and up-to-date child population data is crucial for ensuring the accuracy and relevance of enrollment and other educational indicators. These indicators help assess the reach, inclusiveness, and effectiveness of educational programs and policies, facilitating evidence-based decision-making in the education sector.
Child population (Projected) in Different Age-groups, India & State levels, 2021-22
|India/ State/UT||Projected Population by Age Group – Overall, 2021-22 (Projected)|
|Age 6-13||Age 14-15||Age 16-17||Age 6 to17|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||32890||30213||63103||9185||8026||17211||9249||8192||17441||51324||46431||97755|
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu||56916||48861||105777||14026||10868||24894||16205||10445||26650||87147||70174||157321|
|Jammu and Kashmir||992000||877000||1869000||305000||264000||569000||295000||259000||554000||1592000||1400000||2992000|
|Reference: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Report of the Expert Group on Population Projection, June 2020.|
Projected Child Population
Below we discuss the projected child population, which is reported in the Ministry’s UDISE+ 2021-22 Booklet and is based on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Report of the Expert Group on Population Projection, June 2020.
According to the UDISE+ report for 2021-22, the population projection for different age groups has changed slightly compared to last year’s data. In absolute terms, the total population aged between 3 to 17 years in 2021-22 is projected to be 373,064,933, an increase of about 2.6 million from the previous year (370,426,000). In percentage terms, these changes represent relatively small increases across different age groups compared to last year’s data. Overall these data suggest that there has been a slight increase in the projected population across different age groups compared to last year’s data.
- The total population aged between 6 to 17 years in 2021-22 is projected to be 288,549,200, an increase of about 2.1 million from the previous year (286,464,000).
- The total population aged between 3 to 5 years in 2021-22 is projected to be 84,515,733, an increase of about 553 thousand from the previous year (83,962,000).
- The total population aged between 11 to 13 years in 2021-22 is projected to be 71.44 million, an increase of about 0.89 million from the previous year (70.55 million).
- The total population aged between 14 to 15 years in 2021-22 is projected to be 48.90 million, an increase of about 0.48 million from the previous year (48.42 million).
- The total population aged between 16 to 17 years in 2021-22 is projected to be 50.05 million, an increase of about 0.41 million from the previous year (49.64 million).
Overall these data suggest that there has been a slight increase in the projected population across different age groups compared to last year’s data. However, it may be observed that these projections are subject to change and may not accurately reflect actual demographic trends over time. UDISE+ 2021-22 child projections are based on the Expert Committee (2020) set up by the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, the only official projection available based on the 2011 Census.