The aim of any data mining technique is to build an efficient predictive or descriptive model of a large amount of data. Applications of evolutionary algorithms have been found to be particularly useful for automatic processing of large quantities of raw noisy data for optimal parameter setting and to discover significant and meaningful information. Many real-life data mining problems involve multiple conflicting measures of performance, or objectives, which need to be optimized simultaneously. Under this context, multiobjective evolutionary algorithms are gradually finding more and more applications in the domain of data mining since the beginning of the last decade. In this two-part paper, we have made a comprehensive survey on the recent developments of multiobjective evolutionary algorithms for data mining problems. In this paper, Part I, some basic concepts related to multiobjective optimization and data mining are provided. Subsequently, various multiobjective evolutionary approaches for two major data mining tasks, namely feature selection and classification, are surveyed. In Part II of this paper, we have surveyed different multiobjective evolutionary algorithms for clustering, association rule mining, and several other data mining tasks, and provided a general discussion on the scopes for future research in this domain.