1. Population
  2. As per 1991 Census, the total population of the district was 38,41,396 which has increased to 42,16,268 as per the census of India 2001. Chennai district accounts for 6.8 per cent of the total population of 6,21,10,839 of the state. Male population constitutes 21,61,605 which accounts for 51.3 percent of the total population of the district and female population constitutes 20,54,663 accounting for 48.7 percent of the total population of the district. It ranks 2nd among the districts of Tamil Nadu in population, top ranked being Coimbatore district with a population of 42.24 lakhs.

  3. Density of population
  4. As per the census of India 2001, Chennai district is the densest district with 24,231 persons per sq. km as against the State’s population density of 478 persons per sq. km. According to 1991 census the population density of the district was 22,077 persons as against the state average of 429 persons per Sq. km. There is 9.76 per cent growth rate in the density of population during the period from 1991-2001 in Chennai district. This is mainly due to migration of rural population of the State to the urban area and also people migrated from other States of the country in search of employment, business and better amenities. The density of population of the country is 324 persons per sq. km as per the census of 2001, which is lesser than the Taminadu State average of 478 persons per Sq. km.

  5. Decennial growth of population.
  6. During the decade 1971-81 population increased by 27.35 percent. But the decadal growth rate during 1981-91 reduced to 17.24. The growth rate of population has been further reduced to 9.76 percent during 1991-2001. This reduction in growth rate is due to the Birth Control Measures taken by the State and Central governments from time to time. The Decennial growth of population in the district during last three decades is given below:

    Decennial growth of Population in the district for last three decades


    Pupulation in lakhs

    Percentage of growth
    Districts StateDistrict State

Source:Census 2001

  1. Slum Population.
  2. There are 1230 slums in Chennai district covering 2,96,012 households. The total slum population is 18.03 lakhs and the size of the household is 4.5 numbers. In Chennai district slum are coming up in river banks, roadside, public lands etc. Percentage of slum population to the city population is 27.3 percent Demographic profile of Chennai district is given in the following table :-

    Demographic profile of Chennai vis-à-vis State as per 2001 Census

    S. No DetailsChennaiState
    1Population (in Lakhs)42,16,2686,21,10,839
    2Male (in Lakhs)21,61,6053,12,68,654
    3Female (in Lakhs)20,54,6633,08,42,185
    4Literate (in Lakhs)30,79,0044,06,24,398
    5Literacy rate80.1473.47
    6Male Literate (in lakhs)16,70,0942,28,47,735
    7Male Literacy Rate84.782.33
    8Female Literate14,08,9101,77,76,663
    9Female Literate Rate75.3264.55
    10Density of Population (per Sq.Km.24,231478
    11Decadal Population } 1981-91
    growth percentage }1991-01
    12Level of Urbanization 10034.15

    Source:Census India 2001

  1. Literacy
  2. As per 2001 census literate accounts for 30.08 lakhs in Chennai district. Out of this male literate accounted for 16.7 lakhs and female literate 14.08 lakhs. The literacy rate for Chennai in 2001 has decreased to 80.14% from 81.6% returned in the 1991 Census. Among the males 84.71 percent are literate whereas among the females the rate of literacy is 75.32 percent only. The corresponding ratios in 1991 were 87.86 percent for males and 74.87 percent for females respectively.

    The literacy rate for Tamilnadu in 2001 has increased to 73.47 percent from 62.66 percent in the 1991 census. During the decade 1991-2001 the male literate growth rate increased from 73.75 percent to 82.33 percent and the female literacy rate increased from 51.33 percent to 64.55 percent . Among the districts of Tamilnadu, Chennai with 80.14 percent ranks 4th in literacy, 1st, 2nd and 3rd being Kanyakumari, Thuthukudi, and Nilgiris with 88.11 percent, 81.96 percent, and 81.44 percent respectively. However Chennai district has registered higher literacy rate than the state average of 73.4 %.

    The literacy rate is the percentage of literate to total population aged of seven years and above.

  3. Work Force
  4. According to 1991 Census work force constitutes 30.5 percent of total population and non-workers constitute 69.5 percent. Of the total workers 86.5 percent are male and only 13.5 percent are female. Category-wise workers and non-workers along with percentage to total workers are given in the following table :-

    Details of category- wise workers and non-workers in the District.

    S. No Category of workers No.of workers In lakhs Percentage to total workers
    1 workers
    a) Male workers
    b) Female workers


    2 Rural workers Nil  
    3Urban workers 11,73,062100
    4Cultivators 8830.07
    5Agricultural Labourers 1990.02
    6Household industry 76830.7
    7Other workers 3,74,19431.9
    8Marginal workers 1,3230.11
    9Total workers 11,73,06230.5 to total population.
    10Non- workers 26,68,33469.5 to total population.
     Total population 38,41,396 

Source:Census 1991


  1. Animal Husbandry-Dairy Development
  2. Cattle farming, sheep rearing and poultry farming are subsidiary occupation only for a limited household due to non-availability of space. The detail of the bovine population in the district is given in the following table: -

Live-stock population as per 1997 census

S. No Types of animalsNo.of animals

Source:Live Stock census 1997

There are only four milk dairies in the district. Milk production during flush season is 15.77 LLPD and leans season is 13.77 LLPD. Not even a single chilling plant is working in the district. But there are chilling and milk processing plant in the neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur. It is understood that 80% of the milk consumption in this district is transported from the neighbouring districts like Kancheepuram, Thiruvallur, Thiruvanamalai and Vellore. There is very little scope for development of animal husbandry in Chennai district due to lack of space for implementing fodder development scheme, gracing land and space for shelter.

There is scope for setting up industries based on milk products like flavoured and fortified milk, milk Sweets, ghee, Butter etc.

  1. Poultry Development

  2. Poultry population of the district is 98,302 as per 1997 census and the same is now estimated to be around 1.2 lakhs. TAPCO is having a feed mixing plant at Nandanam with marketing unit at Chennai. As such quality feed does not face any problem.

    Tamilnadu Veterinary and Animal Services University has a Research Station at Nandanam that imparts training for poultry development. Two major problems facing poultry farming in the city is lack of space, high feed cost and unremunerative egg prices. Nearly 70% of the total cost of poultry farming is towards feed cost.

    Taking into consideration the above factors it is profitable to establish chicken stalls, egg business in Chennai, since broiler chicken and eggs coming from the neighbouring districts like Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur to the Chennai City is sufficient to cater to the needs of the city dwellers.

  3. Fisheries
  4. The coastal length of the district is 22 km. Coastal area of the district is one of the major fishing center in Tamilnadu. Fisheries are important allied activities which provides gainful employment and sustainable income to people living in and around coastal areas of the city. This sector can be broadly divided into two sector viz.-inland fisheries and marine fisheries.

    There are 2 coastal blocks and 40 coastal fishing centers in the district. Marine fish production was 14,555 tonnes during the year 1998-99 and the inland fish production was 85 tons.

    There is good potential for setting up industries based on fish in the coastal belt of the district.